Can I test positive for COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine?
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a small number of people can get infected with COVID-19 after completing their vaccine series.
Approximately 5,800 cases of COVID-19 infection among 66 million Americans who are completely vaccinated, according to the CDC.
That represents 0.008% of the fully vaccinated population, but health professionals say most experience mild symptoms.
“The real benefit is you significantly and almost completely eliminate your chances of severe disease,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer for UW Health.
Officials say these incidents match their expectations because while approved vaccines are highly effective, there are not 100% guaranteed.
Just a single dose of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine can also significantly reduce COVID-19 symptoms if you test positive, said Pothof.
“You get vaccinated because you don’t get so sick where you have to see me in the emergency department, you don’t get so sick and are admitted to the hospital or put on a ventilator,” Pothof said.
There are no studies specifically designed to determine someone’s immunity from a single dose, but Pothof said completing your vaccine series can reduce your chances of a hospitalization or death.
State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) who tested positive for COVID-19 after being partially vaccinated, says just one dose saved him from having severe symptoms.
“I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I had not had that vaccine, so even that one shot made all the difference,” said Larson.
A day after Larson announced his daughter tested positive for COVID, he and his son received a positive test as well. The Senator and his two children have mild symptoms and Larson said they are functioning almost entirely normally.
“It was a very short interaction (with another family) and that was enough,” he said. “I think there’s this idea that if everyone is masked and you're outdoors and keep distance it will be okay, but all it takes is just one droplet.”
Larson is encouraging people to get vaccinated and to continue to take precautions as cases remain steady in the state.
“I know a lot of folks don’t think kids can’t get it, and it’s less severe, but they can absolutely get it and can keep spreading it.”