Getting the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t mean you’re completely free from the novel coronavirus.

What’s going on?

Two new studies — one from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the other from UC San Diego Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles — found that health care workers still tested positive for COVID-19 despite getting the full vaccination.

  • The studies are a good example of how the COVID-19 vaccine works in a real-world setting. So far, we’ve only relied on occasional stories and scientific data. These accounts are real-world examples of how infections can still happen, The New York Times reports.
  • In total, four out of 8,121 workers at the University of Texas and seven out of 14,990 in UC San Diego tested positive after receiving two doses, according to The New York Times.

Sure, it’s rare to get COVID-19 despite the vaccine. But experts said it’s important to remember it can still happen.

  • “We felt really strongly that this data should not lead people to say, ‘Let’s all get vaccinated and then we can all stop wearing masks,’” Dr. Francesca J. Torriani, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health, told The New York Times. “These measures have to continue until a larger segment of the population is vaccinated.”
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More real-world examples

  • Israel released new data showing the coronavirus vaccine has led to less infections and symptoms. Per The Times of Israel, researchers found that “out of those who were tested for the coronavirus at least a week after their second shot, less than 1% tested positive, and less than 0.2% developed COVID-19 symptoms.”
  • Similarly, Israel’s Ministry of Health and Pfizer/BioNTech announced in March that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can prevent symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of the novel coronavirus, too, ABC News reports.

Remember

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t want you to stop adhering to public health guidelines. The CDC still instructs people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks and keep social distancing in public, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.