Can you still test positive for the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated? If you are travelling, it’s advised to get tested despite the vaccine. Here’s why!
Travel can be confusing, even in the best of times. Today, many people want to know if they need to test for covid-19 before travelling.
With the spread of new variants, the situation differs from country to country. We are making progress with more people getting vaccinated all around the world. There is also an increase in the availability of different vaccinations.
Amidst all such nuances of silver lining, certain speculations still persist.
For instance, people are still sceptical about whether they are required to get tested while travelling. Additionally, there are doubts surrounding the protocol vaccinated people need to follow.
Do you have to get tested when you are travelling after you are vaccinated?
Is it possible to contract the virus even after getting vaccinated?
Many people who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine shots have marked certain specific side effects too. How different are they from the symptoms of the disease?
Should you be cautious?
Read on to find out more about these questions.
What are the CDC guidelines for vaccinated travellers?
Vaccinated travellers are free to travel in and around the U.S. They need not test if they stay quarantined after their return. However, they are bound to follow the basic safety protocols, including wearing a mask and social distancing. They should also wash their hands often, CDC instructs.
- Fully vaccinated people who are international travellers need to follow the following guidelines.
- They need not necessarily receive a COVID-19 test before they gear up to travel. However, if their destination requires them to do so, then they have to get tested.
- Upon returning to the U.S., fully vaccinated citizens need to get tested and possess a negative COVID-19 certificate.
- They should get tested after 3-5 days of their return.
- There are no concessions for fully vaccinated travellers in following the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Would you test positive for COVID-19 after getting vaccinated?
There are very few chances to test positive for the virus once you have been vaccinated. However, medical experts are marking instances of cases where fully vaccinated people have been tested positive for the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states on their website that one cannot turn positive after being vaccinated. This is mainly because RT-PCR and antigen tests check for active virus presence in the body. They do not confirm if the individual is fully immune to the virus.
A Positive Antibody Test
General antibody tests, like a serology test, can turn positive for you after getting fully vaccinated. A positive antibody test reveals that you may have had the infection in the past.
mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna cause our cells to produce a “spike protein” to gear up our bodies to build antibodies. J&J vaccines also function similarly. In this case, your body would be exposed to the virus protein through these vaccines.
However, one cannot guarantee that you will test positive in an antibody test even after getting vaccinated. Doctors often recommend against getting these commercial tests done.
Why does a vaccinated person turn positive in a COVID-19 test?
Getting a positive result in a COVID-19 test does not necessarily mean that the vaccination has been ineffective. There are chances that a person can transmit the virus in spite of the vaccine.
Why do you wonder? Here are a few reasons.
- Vaccinations cannot magically stop the transmission of the virus. They do not operate instantly. This is precisely why vaccinated people are also required to follow safety measures while travelling. Vaccinations surely prep you up with a steady immune system against the coronavirus. However, it can take days/weeks to be fully activated against the pathogens. While you wait for the vaccination to shield you, you are still prone to be infected.
- Vaccinations do not work after a single shot. A double dose ideally seals the deal. If you have only taken the first shot and haven’t followed up for a second one, you might still test positive for the virus. Medical experts thus encourage a two-dose regime.
- After getting vaccinated, you would not get COVID-19, but you can still transmit the disease. Vaccinations do not halt transmission. Many vaccines stop you from catching symptoms and prevent you from falling ill. However, they do not guarantee full protection against the infection. That is, even after being vaccinated, you can unknowingly act as a carrier of the virus.
Therefore, it is vital to have yourself tested for the virus before you travel. Whether international or domestic, your trip should not be the cause of any trouble to others.
It would be ideal for you to get tested before and after your journey. That you should follow safety protocols during the entire span of travelling is also unavoidable.
What to do after turning positive?
Vaccinations operate differently in different bodies. The antibodies you have developed can taper the strength of your immune system too. This provides ample wiggle room for the virus to cause trouble.
Vaccinations can prevent severe cases of falling ill and hospitalization. That is, you will not be as sick as you would be without the virus, according to studies.
You can catch a less severe or asymptomatic case of the disease even after getting vaccinated. Therefore, vaccinations surely help with diminishing the possibility of life-threatening illness. But they do not guarantee magical protection.
Thus, if you test positive for the virus even after getting vaccinated, you will have to undergo the standard treatment prescribed for COVID-19.
Your biggest responsibility in these trying times is to consistently get yourself checked for the virus and ensure the safety of others around you. In addition to masking up and avoiding crowds, it is recommended to get tested for the virus before and after you travel.
According to CDC’s clinical findings, the vaccines do not guarantee 100% protection. They can save you from being severely ill.
Additionally, some new variants of the virus can cause illness in spite of getting vaccinated. CDC reveals that there is little information on how the new variants of COVID-19 combat the vaccinations.
In this light, as responsible citizens, we are expected to take extra precautions. It would do well for you to get tested, especially during travels.
Remember, safety first!