Can you tell the difference between unvaccinated or fully vaccinated COVID-19?
Do you have different COVID-19 symptoms if you’re vaccinated or if you’re unvaccinated? It’s hard to tell
The coronavirus pandemic is heading toward another round of fall and winter seasons, suggesting that more cases may rise among the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated alike.
Recently, fully vaccinated people have been hit with breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which isn’t a surprise and should be expected. Breakthrough cases remain rare. Few — if any — of those breakthrough cases lead to hospitalization or death.
But COVID-19 breakthrough cases still create COVID-19 symptoms, similar to the symptoms that unvaccinated people suffer from.
The top 5 COVID-19 symptoms for fully vaccinated
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Loss of smell
According to CNBC, the most common symptoms for unvaccinated people tend to be anosmia (loss of smell), fever and shortness of breath. These symptoms are ranked lower on the list for fully vaccinated people.
- “A persistent cough now ranks at number 8 if you’ve had two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having COVID,” according to CNBC.
Researchers with Yale Medicine said people with breakthrough cases often suffer symptoms in the nose and throat.
- “Mild symptoms like congestion and runny nose are much more common in a vaccinated person with a delta infection, whereas unvaccinated persons are more likely to experience severe symptoms,” said Dr. Claudia Corwin, an occupational medicine specialist with the University of Iowa Health Care, according to NBC Chicago. “A lot of vaccinated people don’t even realize that they have a COVID infection because they presume it’s seasonal allergies or a common cold.”
Can you tell the difference?
Dr. Ulysses Wu, of Hartford HealthCare’s System in Connecticut, said there’s no easy way to tell the difference between symptoms if you’re vaccinated or not.
“I wouldn’t even try,” he said, according to NBC Chicago. “If you are experiencing any symptoms, whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated, the suggestion would be to test.”