Risks of Possible COVID-19 Illness After Vaccination

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Despite what the anti-vaxxers want you to believe, vaccines are very effective and safe for most people. Though despite this, no vaccine is completely 100 percent effective.

Even when people are fully vaccinated, with either one or two doses depending on the vaccination used, a small percentage of people will still get COVID 19. Those people that do get COVID after being fully vaccinated, will suffer less serious symptoms than people who chose not to get the vaccine.

When someone gets COVID 19 after being vaccinated, it is known as a vaccine breakthrough case. How common the vaccine breakthrough cases are, is yet to be fully understood, with studies still being needed to find out the frequency of infection.


The clinical trials for the vaccines didn’t show any vaccination type that was 100 percent effective, and so it has turned out with the full rollout of the vaccines. However, the clinical trials did show that the vaccines help most people avoid COVID.

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to provide almost the same real world protection as was discovered in clinical trials. With no vaccine 100% effective, it was completely expected that a small number of people will suffer from COVID-19 despite their vaccination status.

Many of these people, however, will only suffer from asymptomatic versions of the illness even if they do get the infection. While they may not suffer symptoms, they can still pass on the infection to other people without realizing it.

Additional Causes of Infection After Vaccination

While people can still get infected after vaccination, there are other reasons why they could have the illness. Someone might have become infected prior to getting their shot. Since we know that it takes at least a few days for symptoms to show, some people will get their vaccinations when they are already infected.


In such cases, the vaccination isn’t going to do much to prevent their symptoms. And since sometimes symptoms can take a week or longer to show up in a patient, this could affect quite a number of people that get vaccinated.

It is also possible that someone could become infected with COVID-19 shortly after they have been vaccinated. With these vaccines, you aren’t immediately protected from the virus. It can take a week or longer before you are fully protected, so if you are in close proximity to someone with the virus before you have built up the antibodies in your body, you can still get it.

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It is all too easy to assume you are in the clear once you have got your shot, but you still need to be careful.

There is also the risk from new variants of the virus to consider. New COVID-19 variants are rapidly spreading in the United States, and these could make vaccination less effective.

This will mean that more people suffer symptoms after they’ve been vaccinated. However, it is difficult to be sure how bad this situation is with studies needing to take place to understand the risks posed by new variations of the virus.

Reduced COVID 19 Symptoms After Vaccinations

In countries that have vaccinated large numbers of their population, evidence suggests that the seriousness of COVID is reduced for people who have had at least one shot.

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While people might still get sick, the risks of serious illness and death appear to be lower.

Despite lower levels of seriousness, people do still get hospitalized and some die. Though, the risks from the virus seem to be significantly reduced for people who have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

In many countries, prioritizing more at-risk groups has been shown to greatly reduce hospitalization and death. More at-risk groups include older people and those who have suffered from heart or lung conditions, or people with diabetes.

Symptoms of COVID-19

If you get infected, the symptoms from COVID 19 can start to appear between 2 and 14 days after you have been exposed. Symptoms can include the following among others:

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  • Fever, chills, or aches
  • A cough, or sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea

If you experience symptoms like this or know that you have been in contact with someone you later find has been infected, you should get a test. Tests can be booked online, check your local health department’s website for more details of where they offer testing.

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If your test turns out to be positive and you do have COVID, you will be expected to isolate for at least 10 days at home. You should remain in isolation for at least 10 days after symptoms begin as long as they are improving.

The majority of people will only have a mild case, however, and this is particularly likely if you have been vaccinated. If you have an underlying health condition and a weakened immune system, you should contact your healthcare provider for additional help.

Research is Still Required

Government agencies like the CDC, as well as state and local health departments, are monitoring cases. Vaccine breakthrough cases are being monitored to learn of trends in the data.

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This should show if any particular groups are more at risk of getting the virus even when vaccinated. However, no particularly obvious patterns or unexpected results have been found. This means that outcomes from different types of vaccine used, age ranges, underlying health conditions, or even different COVID variants haven’t produced unexpected levels of vaccine breakthrough cases.

Effectiveness of Vaccination for COVID-19

Though there are skeptics, vaccination has a long and incredibly successful history behind it. And this effectiveness has also shown in COVID vaccines.

Not only has the vaccination program so far reduced the spread of the virus resulting in fewer people being infected, but also it has reduced the seriousness of cases when people get infected despite being vaccinated.

The message to people who are still to be vaccinated is very clear. If you haven’t yet received your vaccination for COVID, you need to get your shot. This will reduce the chance of you or your loved ones from suffering from the effects of the COVID 19.

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