After a year of physical distancing, a New York City grandmother finally received a prescription she had been waiting for: a hug.
Sirius XM radio host Jessica Shaw on Tuesday shared a photo of the prescription her mother got from her doctor on Twitter. The small white prescription card says, "You are allowed to hug your granddaughter." She got the all-clear after she got her COVID-19 vaccination.
In the following tweet, Shaw posted a video of her mother, who lives in the Bronx, reuniting in an emotional embrace with Shaw's niece.
"They have seen each other socially distanced at least 6 feet away, but obviously not hugged each other since sometime last March," Shaw told NBC News.
The video of her mother crying while hugging her granddaughter also made others teary but at the same time filled with hope that they could soon return to their pre-pandemic lives.
Health officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. Just this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated. They can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
The guidance was “welcome news to a nation that is understandably tired of the pandemic and longs to safely resume normal activities,” said Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a former acting director of the CDC.
About 31 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.