Skip to content

This is How You Get COVID After Your Vaccine, Says Dr. Fauci

Yes, it is possible to get COVID after your vaccination, although rare.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Coronavirus restrictions are still in effect, even for fully vaccinated Americans, and "some vaccinated Americans may want to travel, eat indoors at restaurants. So what is the scientific reason that it isn't safe for vaccinated Americans to do those things?" That's the question on the minds of many Americans, and it was asked this morning by CNN's State of the Union host Dana Bash to guest Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Read on to see what Dr. Fauci said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this urgent news: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated.


Dr. Fauci Said You Needed to Practice Caution After Vaccination Because You Could Get COVID

Two women with black face masks sitting on bench in park

Yes, it is possible to get COVID after your vaccination, although rare—the CDC recently estimated about 5,800 breakthrough infections, out of estimated 77 million people vaccinated. "Although they're unusual, we are seeing breakthrough infections," said Dr. Fauci. How could that happen to you? There may be a primary vaccine failure, "when the body actually doesn't mount adequate immune response for a number of reasons," he explained, listing them as "immune status, health status, age medications you're on, or something wrong with the vaccine storage delivery composition." It's another reason to keep wearing a mask and social distancing after your vaccine. Keep reading for more reasons.


Dr. Fauci Said You Needed to Practice Caution After Vaccination Because You Could Spread COVID

Woman putting on face mask while sitting in a cafe during coronavirus.

"The first thing you got to realize is that when you get vaccinated, your risk of getting infected dramatically diminishes and is very low. So then the obvious question is why are there any restrictions there?" asked Dr. Fauci on CNN, ready to answer his own question: "Because in a certain situation, one can get vaccinated, have no clinical disease at all, but get infected and not even know it and have replication of virus in your nasopharynx and inadvertently transmit it to somebody else who might actually be unvaccinated and get ill. That's the reason why you want to wear a mask."


Dr. Fauci Said You Needed to Practice Caution After Vaccination Because There are Variants Spreading

Scientist in laboratory studying and analyzing scientific sample of Coronavirus monoclonal antibodies to produce drug treatment for COVID-19.

"Then the other reason for wearing a mask is that there are variants that are circulating." Fauci calls these variants "a bit disturbing….Fortunately for us, the 1.1.7, which is the variant that was originating in the UK, our vaccines are effective against them." but others may be more precarious.


So What are the Exact Risks Then? Dr. Fauci Weighed In.

Woman in medical face mask getting Covid-19 vaccine at the hospital

Is it "safe" to do things after vaccination? "The issue is it depends on what you mean by safe and its relative risks," said Dr. Fauci. "So when people say, well, why can't I go [here or there]? You can travel. Your risk is really very low." So why does the CDC discourage travel? "What the CDC is saying is that it depends on what your level of risk that you want to take. The one thing you want to do is be careful that you don't inadvertently infect someone else or that given the fact that we have 70,000, 60 to 70,000 new infections in the community, that is a precarious situation. That's the point. So we don't want people to think that you don't dramatically diminish your risk when you get vaccinated, you absolutely do. The risk is very low and people will make decisions about what they want to do, and it will be a relative risk. What risk am I willing to take?"

RELATED: 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID


How to Stay Your Safest During This Pandemic

Woman putting a second face mask.

Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek