Testing positive for COVID-19 after getting vaccinated? Experts say it’s possible

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As the number of people getting vaccinated increases, there are more questions about how the vaccine works. 

For example, is it possible for a person to test positive for the coronavirus after getting vaccinated? 

According to the CDC, the answer is yes, it is possible. 

But Dr. Paul Calkins, interim chief medical executive at IU Health, says it’s important to remember that testing positive doesn’t mean the COVID-19 vaccine gave the person the virus.

It can take 10 -14 days for the body to build immunity after vaccination.  Dr. Calkins says thats because your body is learning what to do and how to fight the virus.

The Indianapolis-based physician also says it’s important to look at the data. 

“There were people testing positive at the same rate as people who were given the placebo in both the Pfizer and Moderna trials,” Dr. Calkins said, adding it’s possible to have an asymptomatic infection even with the vaccine.

So what do you do after you get the first dose? 

“Assume you have no protection until about two weeks after your first dose and then you have some protection, which is better than zero, but partial until your second dose… and you really need a week after your second dose” said Dr. Calkins.

That’s about four weeks for Pfizer and five for Moderna between the first dose and that 95% efficacy.

And while getting the first dose doesn’t mean throwing your mask away, Dr. Calkins does say it will protect you from those severe symptoms.

It’s also important to know if you do test positive after the first dose, that doesn’t mean starting over, you should go ahead and get that second dose as scheduled.