Since the December of last year, over two million people in the US have been vaccinated under the guidelines from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. While the number is still very low due to the slow spread of the distribution, it is likely to improve in the coming months. Soon, the vaccine will also be available to the general public but this does not mean that the risk of contracting the virus will go away completely.
According to a few recent reports, a number of people have contracted the coronavirus infection after getting their first dosage of the newly approved vaccine. Perhaps the most famous case is that of the congressional representative Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Coleman is a seventy-five-year-old representative from New Jersey who had recently received her first dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Even after getting the vaccine, she made sure to wear a mask and continue following guidelines strictly as she is at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. However, she still tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
According to an editorial in the Washington Post, Coleman believes she caught the infection during the January 6 Capitol riot. Although she was wearing a mask, there were many other people who did not. As a result, Coleman along with other congress representatives contracted the virus.
In addition to this case, there have been several others where people tested positive for COVID-19 within a few days after getting vaccines. This may confuse many or even make some believe that the vaccines are ineffective but this is far from the reality.
To clear this confusion, experts have explained that timing is significant when it comes to getting a vaccine. In many cases, people who test positive right after their first dosage have been exposed and infected before their vaccine appointments.
This was also commonly noted in clinical trials of the vaccines. Many of the participants developed symptoms of the infection after getting the vaccine as they had contracted the virus many days before. Secondly, it is indeed possible to contract it right after getting the coronavirus shot as well.
Vaccines do not start working instantly and may take over a week to cause an immune response. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the Pfizer vaccine takes an average of ten to twelve days to only start working. It is also only fifty-two percent effective two weeks later.
In addition, Pfizer, as well as the Moderna vaccine, require two dosages at a separate time for maximum benefits and protection. Only people who are able to get both have the most reduced risk of developing severe coronavirus infection but even then there is a need to follow precautions.
Till now, scientists know that both vaccines are highly effective and can decrease the likelihood of serious complications. However, the issue of coronavirus spread after the vaccine is unclear and requires further investigation, which is why experts recommend following guidelines for coronavirus prevention.
Ideally, a person should act like he or she never had the vaccine and continue to take precautionary measures until the pandemic is over.