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Testing After Vaccines & CDC Travel Guidance

Key Points:

  • In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss vaccine impact on COVID-19 testing and CDC’s new travel guidance for those who are fully [Read More Here]
  • The CDC has released new guidelines for travel for fully vaccinated individuals within the U.S.
    • With this new guidance, it’s good to remember that in the U.S. a fully vaccinated person is one that has waited two weeks after their second-dose of a 2-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer or Moderna) or has waited 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (e.g. J&J vaccine).
  • This week is National Public Health Week. This year’s theme is “Building Bridges to Better Health” to make “communities safe and health is public health’s top priority”.
  • According to ESPN, “more than half of Vancouver Canucks’ players test positive for COVID-19”.
  • Around the world, COVID-19 is resurging and creating new waves. See news from Kenya, India, and/or Europe.
  • The “double-mutant” COVID-19 variant first identified in India has now been found in the San Francisco Bay Area (California).

Recommendations for Industry

Testing After Vaccines & CDC Travel Guidance

  1. Will the vaccine cause me to test positive on a COVID test?
  2. Having been vaccinated will not cause a person to test positive on a PCR/antigen test, however being vaccinated or having had COVID will most likely cause one to test positive on an antibody test. While these vaccines contain a small segment of viral genetic material, they don’t include the entire genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Diagnostic tests such as PCR or antigen tests look for a broad spectrum of genetic material or the presence of surface antigens from the virus to confirm infection. An antibody test shows that the person has developed the virus-fighting antibodies either from the vaccine or from a previous infection.
  3. I have received a COVID-19 vaccine so, according to CDC, I’m safe to travel, right?
  4. Because travelers who are fully vaccinated (see Key Point #2 above) are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, CDC’s new guidelines state that the fully vaccinated can travel safely within the US:
  • Without being tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it
  • Without needing to self-quarantine

However, even fully vaccinated travelers should:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

Additionally, CDC recommends that anyone not fully vaccinated delay travel until they are, because travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, CDC recommends the same masking, distancing, and handwashing precautions, plus testing, quarantining, and self-monitoring. (See Domestic Travel Recommendations for Unvaccinated People.)

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