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What fully vaccinated people should do if exposed to COVID-19

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after they complete their COVID-19 vaccine series.

Prevea Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Johnson said being fully vaccinated also doesn’t prevent someone from contracting COVID-19.

“The vaccine is proving to be as or more effective than what was found in the clinical trial but it is proving to be a very effective vaccine but no vaccine is 100 percent,” he said.

He said people who are fully vaccinated still have to mask-up in many situations. This includes large crowds and smaller crows including people who may not yet be fully vaccinated.

“That’s why we still recommend masking and social distancing in large groups because there is that small, but not zero, risk of spreading,” Johnson said.

Those who are fully vaccinated who come in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 may not have to quarantine.

“It means that you won’t miss work, you won’t miss family events, you won’t have to stay home if you’re a close contact of someone who is COVID positive,” Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese said.

The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people get test and quarantine if they show symptoms following exposure. People who live in group settings should stay away from others for 14 days regardless of whether they show symptoms.

Johnson said reasonable, but not required, fully vaccinated people who are exposed to the virus yet asymptomatic stay away from people who are considered high risk for 14 days.

“It’s the same symptoms that we had originally listed for COVID testing, cough, shortness of breath, fever, congestion, diarrhea,” Johnson said.

He also said most fully vaccinated people won’t need regular asymptomatic testing unless they’re regularly in a large setting such as a university.

“Any test has a certain number of errors where it says it’s positive when it isn’t really,” Johnson said. “And when your numbers are that low, a positive test is just as likely to be a false positive.”

He said fully vaccinated testing and quarantine guidelines are the same regardless of which vaccine someone received.

Experts say at least 70 percent of the population need to get vaccinated before herd immunity can be achieved.

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