COVID-19 Test After Vaccine: Do I Really Need One?

With multiple vaccines now available to protect adults and some minors against COVID-19, we’re closer than ever to bringing an end to this global pandemic.

Being fully vaccinated doesn’t mean you no longer need to test for the coronavirus, though. Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend immunized people still take a COVID-19 test if they experience symptoms of the virus. Although rare, fully vaccinated people can still get COVID-19 and spread it to others.

Can You Test Positive for COVID-19 After Getting the Vaccine?

Yes. The available vaccines are not 100% effective. That means there is a chance, albeit a small one (the latest from the CDC shows a 0.007% chance), you could still catch the virus, even after being vaccinated.

When Should a Fully Vaccinated Person Get a COVID-19 Test?

It’s only recommended that a vaccinated person get tested for COVID-19 when they experience symptoms consistent with the virus anytime two weeks after their second dose, according to CDC guidelines. “Experiencing symptoms” is key to this recommendation.

Let’s say you got together with a group of people and later learn that someone at that gathering tested positive for COVID-19. If you’re not experiencing any symptoms, CDC officials say there’s no need to get tested. If you are experiencing symptoms, though, they recommend that you get tested. If that test is positive, it is suggested that you self-quarantine.

The only other time when a vaccinated person may need a COVID-19 test is when traveling internationally*. There’s no need to test before departure unless it’s required by the traveler’s destination country. A negative test result is still required – no matter if the person has been vaccinated or not – to board any flight into the United States. Additionally, it’s recommended that international travelers take a COVID-19 test three to five days after returning home.

Get Tested for COVID-19 Today

If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to get tested to start receiving any necessary care and self-quarantine. In turn, this will slow the spread of the virus. Additionally, if you’re asymptomatic but are planning to travel, you should take advantage of widely available Rapid Testing.

For those living in New York State, BioReference offers asymptomatic COVID-19 Rapid Testing, with results delivered in about 30 minutes. Schedule a test today.

*PLEASE NOTE: Patients need to confirm the specific test requirements with venue or airlines prior to testing. Requirements can vary by airline or destination, so please have patients confirm with destination to ensure they are tested at the right time. If patients receive the wrong type of test or are tested too early or late, patients may need to self-quarantine at their destination.