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Can I still get Covid after having the vaccine?

The Independent logo The Independent 02/02/2021 Alice Hutton
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It is still possible to get infected with Covid-19 after receiving one or both doses of the vaccine, health experts have warned, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.

In recent weeks multiple members of the public, as well as at least three members of Congress, including Massachusetts Democrats Stephen Lynch and Lori Trahan and New York Democrat Adriano Espaillat, have reported testing positive for the virus despite receiving one or both shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reassured the public that while both approved vaccines are around 50 per cent effective after the first shot and 95 per cent effective after the second, there remains a natural 5 per cent margin of error.

The agency added that immunity is also not granted instantly and that it can take 10 to 14-days, if not longer, for a person’s body to build up the necessary antibodies.

In a statement the CDC said: “That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”

The agency also explained that scientists remain unsure whether vaccinations, which will largely prevent you from falling ill, will also prevent you from testing positive and infecting others, and so warned members of the public who were vaccinated of the need to carry on wearing masks and continue social distancing. 

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