Can You Get COVID-19 After You've Been Vaccinated?

John Whyte, MD, MPH


March 26, 2021

Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

JOHN WHYTE: Can I get COVID after I've had my shot?

So let's say, you've got your first COVID shot. Does that mean you can rip off your mask and run into a crowded room? The CDC, among others, say, not so fast. You'll have about 50% immunity after the first shot. The second shot, given three to four weeks later, offers about 95% immunity. Even then, it will likely take another week or two for maximum protection to kick in, which means you're still vulnerable for a period of time after you've been fully immunized. And the current thinking is that the vaccine's effectiveness will fade over time, although it'll probably keep you safe for a year or so.

Another thing to keep in mind-- you're also protecting others. Even though you might have immunity, it's still possible that you can transmit the virus to others. So yes, you should still wear a mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash your hands even after you've been vaccinated.

This interview originally appeared on WebMD on March 26, 2021

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