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Last week, the CDC issued this guidance on strategies to evaluate and managed post-vaccination signs and symptoms for health care personnel (HCP). The guidance is aimed at (1) reducing disruptions from unnecessary exclusion of HCP from work due only to post-vaccination symptoms, and (2) avoiding inadvertent transmission of COVID-19 by HCPs.
Current data on the COVID-19 indicated post-vaccination signs and symptoms are mild, occur within the first three days of vaccination, and resolve within 1-2 days of onset. Immediate reactions and local pain/redness at the injection site are not consistent with COVID-19.
Importantly, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or lost of taste or smell are not consistent with post-vaccination symptoms and may be signs of COVID-19 or another infection. All vaccinated HCP should continue to follow current infection prevention recommendations per IDH and CDC protocol.
A person recently exposed to COVID-19 (within 2-14 days) of receiving the vaccine can still become infected with COVID-19. The vaccine itself does not cause a person to become infected.
When evaluating new-onset post-vaccination signs and symptoms, the CDC recommends the following for any HCP who received the COVID-19 vaccine in the prior three days (including the day of vaccination) and are not known to have had an unprotected exposure. Any HCP with an unprotected exposure within the last 14 days should not work, quarantine, and be evaluated.
Please refer to the CDC guidance for additional detail on suggested approaches to minimize impact of post-vaccination signs and symptoms on staffing availability.