Tags: Coronavirus | vaccinated people | tested | covid-19

Should Vaccinated People Get Tested for COVID-19?

Should Vaccinated People Get Tested for COVID-19?
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By    |   Tuesday, 20 April 2021 07:17 PM

As the U.S. vaccine rollout continues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines in April to provide guidance for vaccinated people. The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can resume domestic travel and do not need to get tested before or after traveling. Fully vaccinated means that at least two weeks have passed since the completion of the vaccine regimen.

International travelers also do not have to get tested before leaving the country unless it is required by the destination and can skip self-quarantine when they return, says the CDC.

According to Popular Science, the basic CDC recommendation is that unless you have COVID-19 symptoms, once you have been completely inoculated there is no further need to test unless you have a special reason to do so.

If a vaccinated person does have symptoms, Professor Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco, said it is wise to get tested so that he or she can get treated.

Gandhi added that some people may feel safer testing for COVID-19 if they plan to visit a vulnerable, unvaccinated person. The experts say that in most other scenarios, vaccinated people do not need to be checked.

If families want to travel with unvaccinated children, the CDC recommends that the kids get tested for COVID-19 several days before the trip. Children who are exposed to COVID-19 should also get tested and quarantine for 14 days, according to Popular Science.

Gandhi said that if vaccinated people do need to get tested, they should opt for the rapid antigen tests, instead of the gold-standard PCR tests. The PCR tests can pick up small viral loads of the virus that do not mean a person is infectious. According to The New York Times, new clinical data call for more widespread use of the rapid antigen tests that are less sensitive, so we will have fewer false-positives. A Spanish study of 282 COVID-19 patients published in The Lancet found that the more virus in a patient’s nose, the more infectious they were.

While it is rare for vaccinated people to become infected with COVID-19, it has happened. According to CNBC, U.S. health officials have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people. While this is just 0.007% of the 84 million Americans with full protection against the virus, these ''breakthrough'' cases do exist and the CDC acknowledges that this figure could be an underestimate.

Testing is still important even though millions of Americans have been vaccinated. One reason is that as variants arrive on the scene, we need to identify them and trace their disease patterns. Identifying COVID-19 helps determine who has been exposed and needs to self-isolate, per Popular Science.

On the public health level, testing is a way to examine how successful vaccines are against the new variants and how long antibodies last. Trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines found that they provide immunity for at least six months, but it is uncertain how long protection lasts.

''We’re still not out of the woods,'' Gandhi says. ''And that’s why we are still testing.''

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Headline
As the U.S. vaccine rollout continues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines in April to provide guidance for vaccinated people. The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can resume domestic travel and do not need to get tested before or...
vaccinated people, tested, covid-19
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2021-17-20
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 07:17 PM
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