Get The Brand Available
The federal agencies also have approved the mix-and-match approach to getting a booster for people age 18 and older. This means:
- If Pfizer was your primary two-dose series, you can get a booster six months later of either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
- If Moderna was your primary two-dose series, you can get a booster six months later of either Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.
- If you received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get a booster two months later of either Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer or Moderna.
Does A Breakthrough Infection Give Me Stronger Immunity
There have been few studies that examine how getting infected after being vaccinated boosts the immune response. The reverse of that scenario has been studied, however, and data suggests that people who are infected with the coronavirus and get vaccinated later do have a more robust response than people who had only two doses of the vaccine.
Though studies are mixed, some data shows that having COVID-19 alone without vaccination does not boost the immune response to the levels that the vaccine does. Thats why health officials still recommend that people who have previously been infected get vaccinated.
If you get a breakthrough infection, the health experts recommended talking to your physician about getting a booster.
The latest evidence on the boosters from the mRNA vaccines show not only a tremendous increase in the level of antibody protection, but a broadening of the antibody response, so that would cover more variations in the virus to give protection. That is why the booster seems to be giving such excellent protection against delta, Weiss said.
We dont know yet, but were hopeful that it may help protect against many other variants, he said. In addition, we know that the vaccine boosts the cellular immune system, and we expect that is also substantially contributing to their protection.
Can The Virus Change As It Spreads
Yes. Omicron is a variant of the coronavirus, similar to delta. They both occurred when genetic mutations occurred to the virus.
“I think the longer the virus can exist which is now, existing for about two years higher chance of it continuing to mutate. So I don’t think any of us expect that this one will count as the last mutation,” Bindra said.
Contributing: Mike Stucka and Ryan Miller
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
Read Also: How Much Is Rapid Test At Cvs
Contact Tracing And Breakthrough Infections
The health experts said contact tracing, whether you are vaccinated or not, is an important aspect of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Weiss and Wherry said they dont believe contact tracing at the state level is as vigorous as it needs to be, and particularly for breakthrough cases.
Hong and Coletta, of Delawares Division of Public Health, noted that contact tracing does not differentiate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
The whole concept of contact tracing is we want to let folks whove been exposed to a case that they can take precautions so that they dont continue spreading, Hong said.
During contact tracing, infected people provide a list of people and places they have come in contact with. Contact tracers then reach out to people who have been exposed and advise them what to do next.
If official contact tracing is not being done, Weiss and Wherry suggest that you reach out to the people youve been in contact with. If youve been to a party, for example, let the host of the party know youve tested positive for COVID-19. If you went to a restaurant, let the owner know.
Whats Happening In Israels Coronavirus Outbreak
About a month ago, Israel celebrated what seemed like the end of its domestic pandemic. The country dropped all coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and social distancing requirements, reported Reuters. Unfortunately, the celebration was premature.
COVID-19 cases have begun to rise in Israel over the last few weeks, reported Reuters. The outbreaks started in schools among unvaccinated children then began spreading to vaccinated adults.
- Last week, Israel recorded an average of 775 new daily cases last week, according to data from Reuters.
- This is Israels highest number of daily new infections since March, Reuters reported.
- The average number of weekly hospital admissions is currently 120 people, according to The Washington Post.
- The country has reimposed mask mandates, social distancing requirements and quarantines for everyone arriving in Israel.
Just like in many other countries, the recent outbreak has been driven by the more contagious and more vaccine-resistant delta variant, reported The Washington Post.
Also Check: Cvs Rapid Testing Price
Why Are We Still Isolating Vaccinated People For 10 Days
If vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the coronavirus, maybe they should be able to test out of isolation.
For most fully vaccinated people, a breakthrough coronavirus infection will not ruin their health. It will, however, assuming that they follow all the relevant guidelines, ruin at least a week of their life.
That very frustrating week began for Joe Russell on November 11, the day he found out hed tested positive for the virus, just one month after getting a Pfizer booster, and about five or six days after hed first felt an annoying tickle in his throat. Russell, a 35-year-old hospital-supply technician in Minnesota, dutifully cloistered himself in his basement, far from his fully vaccinated wife and his fully unvaccinated 2-year-old son, and phoned in sick to work. He stayed there through the 15ththe requisite 10 days past his symptoms start. Then, fearful of passing the pathogen to his family, he tacked on one more day, before venturing upstairs on the 17th, still in a mask.
Russells breakthrough was treated as any other SARS-CoV-2 infection would be. But maybe that shouldnt have been the case. For at least those who have gotten all their necessary shots, we have the data and tools to slash the recommended length of isolationand the attendant burdenby a lot, possibly even by half. Two years into the pandemic, were long overdue for a rethink on how vaccines affect our approach to outbreak control.
What Should You Do If You Test Positive For Covid
If you test positive for Covid, you have to isolate no matter your symptoms.
Even if you’re asymptomatic, you still need to isolate for 10 days, starting the count a day after your first positive test. “An infected person, even if boosted, could transmit the virus to others,” says Ho.
And if you have symptoms, the 10-day count is a minimum, rather than a strict figure. Once you pass that benchmark, make sure your “symptoms have improved, and no fever is present for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications,” the CDC says.
You can always help keep yourself and the people around you safe by getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a mask in public, washing your hands and reconsidering travel and large events especially where others’ vaccine status may not be known.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Cvs Charge For Covid Test
What Does Israels Experience Show About Vaccines
The Israel Health Ministrys data analysis has produced some new estimates about the effectiveness of Pfizer vaccines, according to The Washington Post:
- In protecting against infection, Pfizer vaccines are 95% effective for the alpha variant but only 64% effective for the delta variant.
- In preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases, Pfizer vaccines are 97% effective for the alpha variant but only 64% effective for the delta variant.
- In preventing hospitalization and serious disease, Pfizer vaccines are 97.5% effective for the alpha variant and still 93% effective for the delta variant.
While the Pfizer vaccine is less effective against the delta variant, the vaccines effectiveness still far exceeds the 50% vaccine efficacy threshold required for WHO approval, according to the organizations website.
Just because a variant emerges that renders the vaccines less effective doesnt mean those vaccines werent effective in the first place, according to The Washington Post.
Can You Get Covid After Being Vaccinated
Yes. Breakthrough COVID-19 cases happen in people who are fully vaccinated, and they seem to happen more frequently now that the delta variant is circulating widely and immunity may be waning among those who got the vaccine many months ago. All three available coronavirus vaccines are very good at protecting you against severe forms of COVID-19, but they are not 100% effective in preventing infection. Breakthrough COVID can be caused by the delta variant, which is more contagious than some other coronavirus variants.
Also Check: Hank Aaron Dies After Vaccine
The Risk Of Hospitalization And Death After Vaccination Is Still Minuscule
Breakthrough cases have been on the rise and making headlines in the United States as the more infectious Delta variant has surged.
However, breaking down the raw numbers on vaccination rates and post-vaccination infections reveals how effective the COVID-19 vaccines are at protecting against hospitalization and death.
As of Sept. 7, more than 176 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States. The number of vaccinated people who have been hospitalized or died from COVID-19 is a minuscule fraction of that number, according to CDC data .
A total of 11,440 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 after being vaccinated. However, 2,491 of these people had no COVID-19 symptoms or were hospitalized for another condition.
So that means 8,949 people were hospitalized related to COVID-19 symptoms after being vaccinated.
This means the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 after vaccination is 0.005 percent.
Additionally, 2,675 deaths were reported in vaccinated people, with 493 of these deaths in people who did not have symptoms of COVID-19, or their death was unrelated to COVID-19.
This means 2,182 vaccinated people died after developing COVID-19-related symptoms.
That means the risk of dying from COVID-19-related illness after vaccination is 0.001 percent.
study published from the CDC on Friday found that Moderna vaccine recipients appeared to have the highest amount of vaccine effectiveness at 95 percent.
What Should You Do If You’re Vaccinated Test Positive And Feel Sick
Regardless of vaccination status, health experts said, Americans should not travel to see family or friends if theyve tested positive for the coronavirus. Unfortunately, that may mean canceling holiday plans.
According to the CDC, people who test positive for the coronavirus and experience symptoms should:
Monitor their symptoms. If youre having trouble breathing, persistent pain, pressure in the chest or confusion, seek emergency medical care immediately.
Stay in a room separate from other household members, if possible.
Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
Dont share personal household items.
Wear a mask when around other people.
The CDC said a person infected with COVID-19 should isolate from people for 10 full days, counting Day 1 as the first full day after symptoms developed. After isolation, health experts said, its not always necessary to retest.
A positive test doesnt necessarily mean you have to wait another 10 days because we know that these tests can stay positive for a while, said Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy and Asthma Network, a nonprofit for allergy, asthma and immune conditions. After 10 days, its very unlikely youll be contagious.
She recommended rest, hydrating with lots of fluids and over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate symptoms during the isolation period.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does A Covid 19 Test Cost At Cvs
You May Have A Sore Throat
“5 -17.4% of patients have reported a sore throat as early COVID-19 symptoms, in published medical studies,” says Dr. Lee. “ENT specialists think not enough attention has been paid to a sore throat as a COVID symptom, because most medical papers focus on people with severe and more advanced COVID infections.”
When Youve Been Fully Vaccinated
How to Protect Yourself and Others
CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine . Read CDCs media statement.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can do things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.
In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: ±
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnsons Janssen vaccine
If you dont meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. You should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is A Pcr Test At Cvs
Im Vaccinated But Got Covid
This is one of a series of articles in which reporters from WHYYs Health Desk Help Desk answer questions about vaccines and COVID-19 submitted by you, our audience.
You celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends, and now you have symptoms of a virus. With news about yet another coronavirus variant, omicron, youre worried that you have a breakthrough COVID-19 infection.
And you might. As of Friday, 104,379 breakthrough infections have been reported in Pennsylvania, around 1.5% of people in the state who are fully vaccinated. In Philadelphia, there have been 9,307 breakthrough infections, which represents just under 1% of the fully vaccinated population.
Of the 545,057 fully vaccinated people in Delaware, there have been 7,122 reported breakthrough cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, which represents about 1.31%. And as of Nov. 30, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said of the 5.9 million people vaccinated against COVID-19, there have been 54,260 breakthrough cases, fewer than 1%.
Those numbers are not completely accurate: People are not systematically tested for COVID-19, and specimens are not usually accompanied by vaccination history. Also, many at-home test results are not reported to the states.
What You Need To Know About Rare Breakthrough Covid
“We are continuing to investigate the number of fully vaccinated people who may have been hospitalized or passed away,” said Abigail Barker, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health.
Even among states that track cases closely, officials cautioned data is likely incomplete. Vaccinated people who are infected but asymptomatic are probably largely missing from statistics.
Robert Long, spokesperson for Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said, “Those who have been fully vaccinated and have a breakthrough case but are not symptomatic and not part of a regular testing protocol may never be captured in these numbers.”
The CDC is now changing tactics amid new information showing that fully vaccinated people who get Covid can transmit the virus to others.
Critics of the agency like former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said federal officials are failing to capture the overall scope of infection of Covid cases. Gottlieb told CNBC Friday, “I suspect probably one in 10 infections is actually getting reported.”
Don’t Miss: How Much Does A Rapid Test Cost At Cvs
You’ve Lost Your Sense Of Taste Or Smell
Did you experience a weird stint where you couldn’t taste or smell anything? Dr. Sharon Chekijian, a Yale Medicine emergency medicine doctor and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, says it could have been coronavirus. “One sign that you were likely infected is a loss of smell and sometimes taste,” she explains. “Although other viruses or medical conditions can do this too, right now, it may mean you’re infectedeven in the absence of other symptoms.”
Keep Wearing Your Masks In Healthcare Settings
The guidelines have pretty much remained in place if youre going out into public. Theyre the same for healthcare settings, too.
Dr. Englund says its important to continue to wear our masks and face shields. Its crucial, especially when we dont know if people are fully vaccinated. And as you enter a hospital or healthcare providers office, you dont know the health status of the person who might be walking or sitting next to you. That person could be at high risk of getting COVID-19. So, we certainly dont want to put people in healthcare settings at risk.
Also Check: Coronavirus Test Cost Cvs
Could Omicron Cause More Breakthrough Infections
Omicron has more than 50 mutations, with more than 30 in the coronavirus spike protein, which increases its ability to infect the body. The concern is that those mutations will allow the variant to evade vaccine-induced immunity to some extent. What scientists dont know yet is how much its going to evade that immunity.
The evasion will likely be at the level of antibody. The vaccines also induce T cells, which are kind of like a backup plan. And so I think a lot of folks in the field are thinking that there will be some level of immunity to omicron. We just dont know how much, Wherry said.
It will likely be immunity protecting you from severe disease and hospitalization. We may see a little bit of an increase in infections because of the evasion of antibody responses, but its very early, he said.
Hong emphasized that though breakthrough cases are possible, its important to remember that the vaccines still protect people from severe illness and lower the chances of spreading the virus to others.
Saturdays just got more interesting.
Busy week? Our weekend newsletter will catch you up on the best local stories of the week. Sign up for the WHYY News Wrap-Up today.