Today brings more encouraging news for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — and another reason for everyone else to get their shot.

New guidance from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fully vaccinated people can resume activities indoors as well as outdoors without wearing a mask or physically distancing. The CDC notes, however, that everyone is still subject to any federal, local, or tribal rules and regulations as well as business and workplace requirements. 

This is a very big step toward returning to our pre-pandemic way of life. And it’s available to everyone who gets one of the safe, effective, free, and widely available vaccines offered at state-run sites, pharmacies, and numerous other locations around the state. It’s never been easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine, even on the same day and at your convenience.

The CDC announcement comes on the same day that children ages 12-15 are able to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I was vaccinating at the Gila River Arena site this morning and could see the relief of parents who are now able to get this protection for their children. 

Children may not be as prone to serious outcomes from COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have serious outcomes. Because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, even the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, getting kids vaccinated helps protect more vulnerable individuals, including those who have been vaccinated. 

As of today, 5,431,712 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 3,085,000 individuals. That includes 2,550,867 who are fully vaccinated and benefit from today’s CDC announcement.  

Let’s all keep working toward community immunity. Roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated against COVID-19.