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Getting COVID is still possible after being vaccinated, but you can reduce the chances

Published: Feb. 7, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As Nebraska and Iowa make progress, getting thousands more people vaccinated each day, Six News is taking a look at why some people test positive for COVID-19 after getting their shot.

It’s not because of the vaccine and that myth is busted with the help of two experts. Dr. Mark Rupp Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for Nebraska Medicine and Natalie Roberts a Nurse Practitioner at Urgent Care Rockbrook.

So, we start with getting the actual vaccine. Whether it’s Moderna or Pfizer, both require two shots. But if you lower your guard after getting that shot and don’t mask up, you’re doing more harm than good.

“After the first dose, someone can get the virus because their immunity is not fully developed.” said Roberts. She went on to explain that everyone’s body is different. It may take longer for one person to develop more of an immune response than someone else.

Essentially, if you get a shot today and then go to a huge party tomorrow, that presents a health risk.

So, what are your odds if you’ve had both doses? “You may still have a very small chance of getting the virus after the second dose if it’s within two weeks.” said Roberts.

While possible, it is rare because vaccine efficacy has been proven to nearly double after the second dose. And again, that dose won’t have anything to do with someone contracting COVID-19 afterward.

Both Dr. Rupp and Roberts explain a person can’t get the virus from the vaccine because the vaccine doesn’t contain the virus. Read that again, it’s tricky at first glace, but simple once it sets in.

What the vaccine does have, is a molecule, scientifically known as a ‘messenger’. That’s the ‘m’ in the mRNA which is a set of instructions by which cells make protein and send them throughout the human body.

That messenger, triggers your body to make antibodies to fight off COVID and that can show up on an antibody test in someone who’s been vaccinated.

“The serologic blood studies that people do to find out if you’ve created an antibody to COVID-19 can be positive and we hope are positive after someone received the vaccine.” said Dr. Rupp, but he added, even that wouldn’t trigger, nor be considered a false positive.

And that’s because “There are ways of differentiating on the blood test between vaccination and natural infection.” he stated.

To take it a step further, most people who test positive on an antibody or rapid test, will usually be given a PCR or antigen test to confirm they have COVID, because they test the active presence of the disease in your system.

Both experts also cautioned people who receive the vaccine to continue all of the safety protocols in place. Wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, limiting your indoor exposure, etc. are the best ways to prevent infection and especially to allow your body the chance to build immunity from the virus.

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