The antiCOVID-19 vaccine does not provide complete or immediate protection against infection, which means that it is still possible to become infected and test positive for the virus.
This happened to Democratic MP Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts. He tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino was also positive after taking the first dose. There are several reasons why they came out positive, writes CNN.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine takes several days to several weeks to work. You can be positive for the test before the vaccine works.
“It takes some time to develop an immune response,” said Robert Salata, director of the Roe Green University Hospital Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health in Cleveland, USA.
“After 14 days, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was about 52 percent effective in preventing the disease,” said Salata, who was a lead researcher on the Pfizer vaccine at his hospital.
Stephane Bancel, executive director of Moderna, says the first dose may provide protection, but at the moment “there is no data to prove it”.
After vaccination, you can still be tested positive because the vaccine is not 100 percent effective. Two US-approved vaccines are very effective, but do not provide complete protection.
The Pfizer vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing the disease in clinical trials after people received two doses. The other Modern vaccine was 94 percent effective in preventing the disease in people who took two doses in clinical trials.
Vaccination prevents the disease, but it is not yet clear if and to what extent the vaccine prevents infection.
“The data is less clear whether vaccines will prevent the virus from infecting us and whether we may have asymptomatic cases. This is still being studied, “said William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University.
“As far as we can see, these vaccines prevent the disease, that is, the development of severe forms of the disease,” said Namandje Bumpus, director of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Science at Johns Hopkins University.
“But the focus on efficacy does not provide a complete picture, as you may still be affected by COVID, but apparently these cases are still less serious than those forms of the disease that develop in unvaccinated people, and this is really important “, he said.
Vaccine manufacturers are still studying whether vaccines only prevent the development of severe forms of the disease or fully protect them from infections.
If you are asymptomatic, you may still be positive for COVID-19. It also means that even if you are vaccinated, you can still spread the disease, therefore, vaccinated people will still have to wear masks. A person can be an asymptomatic carrier and have the virus in the nasal passages, so when they breathe, speak or sneeze, the coronavirus can still be transmitted to others.
Vaccines do not work retroactively. You may be positive because you were infected before you got the vaccine and did not know it yet. This happened to several health workers in a study published by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study showed that 22 of the 4,081 vaccinated health care workers tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving the first dose.
One of the study’s authors, Eyal Leshem of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, said it was clear that some of the workers who tested positive “were actually infected with coronavirus before taking the first dose.”
There are concerns that some variants that have spread to the US may be less sensitive to the protection provided by vaccines. Preliminary laboratory data show that vaccines should provide protection, and public health officials want to vaccinate as many people as possible in order to limit the chances of the virus mutating.
Manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines said they are testing to determine if the vaccines work against newer variants and are also working on enhancers that would provide additional protection against newer variants of the coronavirus.
“It is possible to get the flu vaccine on the one hand and the COVID vaccine booster on the other within a year. We will have to adapt to what this virus is doing. “And we have the capacity to keep up with the virus, even to prevent it,” said William Schaffner.