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IN THE NEWS…

IN THE NEWS…CAN YOU STILL GET COVID-19 AFTER YOU’VE BEEN VACCINATED?

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    What You Should Know

   About the Possibility of COVID-19 Illness After Vaccination

       Updated Apr. 21, 2021

A small percentage of people fully

vaccinated against COVID-19 will still develop COVID-19 illness

COVID-19 vaccines are effective. However, a small percentage of people

who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it.

These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” This means that while

people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it may still happen.

Experts continue to study how common these cases are.

Large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccination prevented

most people from getting COVID-19. Research also provides

growing evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines offer similar protection

in real world conditions. While these vaccines are effective, no vaccine prevents illness

100 percent of the time. For any vaccines, there are breakthrough cases.

With effectiveness of 90 percent or higher, a small percentage of people

who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will still get sick and some may

be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. It’s also possible that some

fully vaccinated people might have infections, but not have symptoms (asymptomatic infections).

Other reasons why fully-vaccinated people might get COVID-19

It’s possible a person could be infected just before or just after vaccination

and still get sick. It typically takes about 2 weeks for the body to build protection

after vaccination, so a person could get sick if the vaccine has

not had enough time to provide protection.

New variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 illness are spreading

in the United States. Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines

authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants

. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated.

If you get COVID-19 after vaccination, your symptoms might be less severe

Even though a small percentage of fully vaccinated people will get sick,

vaccination will protect most people from getting sick.

There also is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe

in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. Despite this, some fully vaccinated people will

still be hospitalized and die. However, the overall risk of hospitalization and death

among fully vaccinated people will be much lower than among people with similar

risk factors who are not vaccinated.

CDC is monitoring COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases for patterns

CDC is working with state and local health departments

to investigate COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases.

The goal is to identify any unusual patterns, such as trends in age or sex,

the vaccines involved, underlying health conditions,

or which of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses made these people sick.

To date, no unusual patterns have been detected in the data CDC has received.

COVID-19 vaccines are an essential tool to

protect people against COVID-19 illness, including against new variants

COVID-19 vaccines help protect people who are vaccinated from

getting COVID-19 or getting severely ill from COVID-19,

including reducing the risk of hospitalization and death.

CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to you.

However, because people can still get sick and possibly spread COVID-19

to others after being fully vaccinated, CDC recommends people continue

to take everyday actions to protect themselves and others,

like wearing a mask, maintaining an appropriate distance

from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing hands often.

***************************

April 27, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask that fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and follow any applicable workplace or school guidance.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: ±

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

What You Can Start to Do

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other
  • household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without
  • masks or staying 6 feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live
  • with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except
  • in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after
  • travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination
  •  before traveling outside the United States.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless
    • your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery
    • from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away
  • from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention
    • facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19,
    • you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

What You Should Keep Doing

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You should still protect yourself and others in many situations by wearing a mask
  • that fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps.
  • Take this precaution whenever you are:
    • In indoor public settings
    • Gathering indoors with unvaccinated people (including children)
    • from more than one other household
    • Visiting indoors with an unvaccinated person who
    • is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or
    • who lives with a person at increased risk
  • You should still avoid indoor large gatherings.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others.
  • You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other
  • forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States,
  • and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated
  • international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested
  •  within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19
  • in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially
  • if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19,
  • you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system,
  • should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities.
  • They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

What We Know

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
  • Other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.

What We’re Still Learning

  • How effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
  • How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications.
  • How well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.
    • Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19,
    • but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
  • How long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.

As we know more, CDC will continue to update our recommendations for both vaccinated

and unvaccinated people. Until we know more about those questions, everyone—

even people who’ve had their vaccines—should continue

taking steps to protect themselves and others when recommended.

Want to learn more about these recommendations?

Read our expanded Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

± This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized
for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.
This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have
been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford).