Now that vaccines are being administered around the country, we need to be alert to signs and symptoms post-vaccination. Per the CDC, distinguishing between systemic signs of COVID-19 vaccination symptoms of coronavirus infection will depend on many factors. Clinical judgment will be critical in determining COVID-19 symptoms versus post-vaccination symptoms, beginning with whether the healthcare provider had “unprotected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the previous 14 days” says David Kuhar, MD of the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Healthcare Infection Control Team.
If a healthcare worker presents with systemic symptoms that could be either post-vaccination or infection, Kuhar said they may return to work if they are afebrile, feeling well enough, and willing to come to work, and their symptoms are only limited to those observed following vaccination. He suggested a period of 2 days for symptoms to improve or resolve at which point healthcare workers should be evaluated with viral testing considered.
The CDC will regularly report summaries of safety findings at meetings with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, on the CDC website, and in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Be sure you are staying current with these resources especially as we are looking at the second round of vaccines when symptoms are expected to be more pronounced! Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, mask up and stay tuned!