Can You Still Get The Vaccine After Testing Positive For COVID-19?

Can a person still get vaccinated after being exposed to the novel coronavirus and testing positive for COVID-19? The short answer to the question is no. But if you want to know why then you should read on. 

What The CDC Is Saying

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made it clear that one shouldn’t get the vaccine after testing positive and manifesting the symptoms of COVID-19. Experts said that getting vaccinated while dealing with active infection will not likely boost a person’s immune response against SARS-CoV-2. 

Despite the warning, scientists admitted that they still don’t know the exact effects of receiving the vaccine or booster shot while suffering an ongoing infection. There is also no evidence to show that the efficacy of the vaccines changes when administered on a COVID-positive individual, as per Verywell Health

However, the CDC made it clear that the main reason a person dealing with a current infection is strongly discouraged from getting the vaccine has to do with the safety of other people. Lining up for the vaccine while battling COVID-19 puts other people, especially healthcare workers, at risk of contracting the virus. 

The national public health agency came up with isolation and quarantine guidelines for people who have been exposed to the virus and those who got sick because of it. Previously, the guidelines recommended at least ten days. But last month, the CDC modified its recommendations.

Updated Isolation, Quarantine Guidelines

Under the adjusted guidelines, those who tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days if they do not manifest the symptoms. They can leave isolation after the period, but they should wear a mask around other people for the next five days to minimize the risk of infecting others. 

People exposed to the virus are required to quarantine for five days if they are unvaccinated or if it has been more than six months since they got their second dose of the mRNA vaccines. They are then required to mask up when around other people after the quarantine period. 

On the other hand, vaccinated and boosted people would benefit the most from the adjusted guidelines since they are no longer required to quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus. They are encouraged to get tested and stay at home if they develop a fever after the exposure. 

The Takeaway

If you got exposed to someone battling COVID-19 while awaiting your next dose or booster shot, you should follow the quarantine guidelines released by the CDC to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus to other people, according to the Miami Herald

“If you’re actively infected you should stay home—you should not get the vaccine. If you have any symptoms at all, you should not be getting the vaccine or really going out in public,” University of California, Los Angeles infectious diseases specialist Deborah Lehman, MD, told Verywell Health.

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