What to Do If You’re Vaccinated and Exposed to COVID-19
- According to health officials, self-isolation is not necessary for vaccinated people who have been exposed to people with COVID-19.
- According to the health authorities, people who have been vaccinated have a low risk of transmitting the virus to others. However, they should apply caution when they’re around unvaccinated people. Caution should also be applied when they are around people with compromised immune systems.
- You must go for a test if you begin to have symptoms of COVID-19, whether you are vaccinated or not.
What’s the best thing to do if you’ve been vaccinated but then get exposed to a COVID-positive person?
Well, if the recommendation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is anything to go by, then there’s very little you should do – not much really, unless you begin exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
You don’t need to self-isolate or stay away from others unless you start having the symptoms of the disease.
According to Dr. Jennifer Horney, Director of the University of Delaware epidemiology program, it is fact that fully vaccinated people are mostly asymptomatic, and do not spread the disease to unvaccinated people. Horney explained that this fact led the CDC to relax strict mask policies for vaccinated individuals.
However, it is also important that you monitor yourself for symptoms. If you notice any COVID-19-related symptoms, isolate yourself from others and go for a test, whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, breathing difficulties, congestion, loss of sense of smell or taste, and fatigue. COVID-19 may also show symptoms similar to symptoms of the common cold, especially among people who only have a mild case of the disease.
A Walden University Epidemiologist also recommends an immediate viral test for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms whether the person is vaccinated or not. An initial test should be done without delay, while a follow-up test should be done 5-7 days after exposure to the virus.
Knowing your status is important. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. if your test result turns out positive, isolate yourself from others as long as you have the symptoms. It is also important that you self-isolate for at least 10 days since your last positive COVID test.
Mask up even if you are vaccinated
You see, the CDC’s advice for vaccinated folks isn’t carved in stone. This means that it isn’t static. It could change as we learn more about the vaccine and how it works on the COVID-19 variants.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government is considering whether to re-introduce the mask policy for vaccinated Americans to help curb the spread of the delta variant of the virus.
The delta variant is the latest mutation of the virus and is extremely contagious. Several positive tests have been observed among vaccinated people. On the other hand, the number of positive cases is growing at an alarming rate among unvaccinated people.
Los Angeles for instance has asked that masks be worn in indoor public places due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Yes! The vaccine is our best weapon in the fight against COVID-19, but they’re not entirely infallible. They do not offer complete protection from the virus. Fully vaccinated persons may have to adopt some risk-mitigation strategies to reduce their risk to the barest minimum. One of the best ways of protecting yourself is by wearing a face mask. The face mask minimizes the person-to-person spread of the virus.
It may not be a mandate, but for the interest of your health, fully vaccinated persons must wear masks in high-risk settings, such as in crowded locations, when they are indoors with people who’ve not been vaccinated, or when they are around people whose immune system has been immunocompromised.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.