Can I Get Covid-19 After Being Vaccinated?

Like millions of Americans, Kevin was vaccinated against Covid-19 in March to protect himself. But the Tuesday after visiting bars with friends over a rainy Memorial Day weekend in Provincetown, Mass., he had a running nose and some congestion.

“I thought it was typical springtime allergies in New England,” said Kevin, 42, who spoke on the condition that his last name not be used. The symptoms worsened to headaches, body aches and sleepless nights. His doctor told him that it might be the flu but suggested a coronavirus test. The result was positive.

“You don’t think it will be you,” said Kevin, who isolated in his Provincetown townhome for 10 days.

“At the end of the day, the vaccination still worked,” he said. “I didn’t get as sick as people who got Covid prior to the vaccination being available.”

If you’re one of the small number of fully vaccinated people who later test positive for Covid-19, what should you do?

Covid vaccines have been highly effective in preventing Covid-19, especially hospitalization and death, and are generally working as expected, doctors say. The vaccines also reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Although the risk of vaccinated people becoming infected with the virus is low, it can still happen, experts said.

“Yes, this will happen, unusual but will happen,’’ said Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health.

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