May 11, 2021

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Here’s why some people still catch COVID-19 after getting a vaccine

A Covid-19 vaccine does not provide full or immediate protection, which means it’s still possible to get infected and test positive for the virus.

Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts did. He tested positive after he got his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino, who coaches the men’s team at Iona College in New York, also tested positive after getting his first dose.

They
could have tested positive for a few reasons.

There’s a lag between vaccination
and protection

It
takes a few days to a few weeks for the vaccine to work, according to the US
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You could test positive before the
vaccine kicked in.

“It
takes a while for the immune response to develop.” said Dr. Robert Salata,
director of University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine &
Global Health in Cleveland.

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The
first dose may provide some protection, but as the Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel
said Monday “but we really just don’t have any data to prove that at this
point.”

For
Pfizer, after 14 days the first dose was around 52% effective at preventing
disease, Salata, who was the lead investigator for the Pfizer vaccine at his
hospital, said.

Vaccination prevents
most, but not all disease

You
could still test positive after being vaccinated since the vaccine is not 100%
effective.

The
two US-authorized vaccines are highly effective but they don’t provide total
protection.

The
Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective at preventing illness in clinical trials after
people got two doses.

The
Moderna vaccine was 94% effective at preventing illness in people who got two
doses in clinical trials.

Vaccination prevents
disease, but infection, it’s unclear

Vaccination
prevents disease, but it’s still unclear if, or how much, the vaccine prevents
all infections.

“The
information is less clear whether the vaccines will prevent the virus from
infecting us and we can remain without symptoms. That’s still under
study.” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and a
professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy at
Vanderbilt University.

“As
far as what we’ve seen, these vaccines are really game changing at preventing
disease and even severity of disease,” said Namandje Bumpus, director of
the department of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins
University.

“But
focusing on the efficacy number doesn’t paint the whole picture, because you
could still end up with Covid, but by all indications that appears that those
cases are still really less severe than unvaccinated people and that’s really
important.”

The
vaccine makers are still studying if the vaccines just keep people from getting
really sick or if they totally protect from infection.

If
you are asymptomatic you would still test positive for Covid-19. That would
also mean even if you are vaccinated you could also still spread the disease.
That’s why even the vaccinated will still need to wear masks. A person could be
an asymptomatic carrier and have the virus in their nasal passageways, so when
they are breathing or speaking or sneezing they could still pass the novel
coronavirus on to others.

Vaccines don’t work
retroactively

Vaccines
don’t work retroactively. You could test positive because you were infected
before you got the vaccine and just did not know it yet. That’s what happened
to some of the health care workers in a study published by the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention Monday.

The
study found that 22 of 4,081 vaccinated health care workers tested positive for
Covid-19 after getting their first dose.

One
of the study authors, Dr. Eyal Leshem of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, said
it was clear that some of the workers that tested positive “were actually
infected with Covid before they get their first dose.”

The variant question

There’s
concern that certain variants that have been spreading in the US could be less
susceptible to the protection that comes from vaccines.

Preliminary
lab data shows the vaccines should provide protection, and public health
leaders want to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to limit
the opportunities the virus has to mutate.

The
Covid-19 vaccine makers said they are testing to see if the vaccines work
against the variants and they’re also working on boosters that would add extra
protection against variants.

“It
is possible a year from now, that I’ll get a flu shot in one arm and a Covid
vaccine update booster in the other,” Schaffner said. “We’ll have to
adapt ourselves to what it is that this virus is doing. And we have the
capacity to keep up with the virus, and even get ahead of it.”

One
of the study authors, Dr. Eyal Leshem of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, said
it was clear that some of the workers that tested positive “were actually
infected with Covid before they get their first dose.”

The post Here’s why some people still catch COVID-19 after getting a vaccine appeared first on K24 TV.

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