Why are people getting COVID-19 even after vaccination?

COVID vaccination was started in India on 16th January of 2021. The first vaccination drive included health care and frontline workers, and then people above 60 years and 45 years were vaccinated in the second and third round respectively. 

Now vaccination of people aged 18+ have also started but many are still hesitant in taking the vaccine because of positive cases reported even after vaccination. 

India has administered 14 crore doses of vaccine in just 99 days. According to a report by ICMR around 2-3 people in 1000 people have tested positive for coronavirus even after inoculation. 

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This has made people anxious about the ongoing vaccination drive. But what is the reason behind this? Why are people testing positive even after vaccination? 

People are testing positive even after vaccination, why?

Getting COVID positive even after inoculation is known as Breakthrough Infection. The rate of Breakthrough infection is very low and it does not affect the effectiveness of the COVID vaccine. 

The vaccine protects against the disease, not the transmission of the virus. According to experts, a person can contract the virus even after the first dose because his immunity has not been developed properly to fight the virus infecting his body. A person is at the risk of contracting the virus till he gets all jabs of the vaccine and his body develops antibodies against the coronavirus. 

Only after 10-15 days of taking the second dose of the vaccine the body develops immunity against the virus. 

In a recent data released by ICMR, 695 people out of 1.7 million people who got COVAXIN’s second dose contracted the virus. This is 0.04% of the total number of people vaccinated by the second dose. Similarly, out of 15.7 million 5,014 get infected with the COVID-19 after getting injected with a second dose of COVISHILED.  

There are two key reasons behind such coronavirus contractions. First, the healthcare and frontline workers are constantly exposed to the virus and increase the risk of virus contraction. The second reason behind this is the highly transmissible second wave of coronavirus and the mutated versions of the virus. 

Should a COVID-positive patient take a vaccine?

The first thing is that you should not go for vaccination if you have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID as it can endanger the lives of medical staff and other people. 

There is no rule or guidelines about a COVID-positive patient or a person with COVID symptoms taking the vaccine. But usually, the doctors advised that the vaccine should not be taken if you have symptoms of coronavirus. If the symptoms appear after the first dose of vaccination then the doctor recommends postponed the second dose of vaccine by a few weeks.  

US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that it is safe to take the vaccine even if you have covid symptoms. 

Should COVID recovered patient take the vaccine?

If you have tested positive for COVID, taking the vaccine is recommended but after a few weeks only. 

The doctors advise that a covid recovered patient should take the vaccine after 4-6 weeks of recovery when symptoms are present. This will provide additional security to the user and increase the antibody response against the coronavirus. 

If a COVID infected person takes the vaccine then the vaccine will not produce a much effective response as the body will be already busy producing anti-viruses. 

Also read: What is a Black fungus or Mucormycosis infection in COVID-19 patients?

Can vaccination affect PCR or Antigen tests?

As the WHO stated that the vaccine for coronavirus does not affect your PCR or antigen test results. The vaccine works on your immunity, it does not contribute to any active disease.

The PCR or Antigen tests check the active diseases not the immunity of the body and hence the vaccine does not affect PCR or Antigen test results. If someone has tested positive after the vaccination it is because he/she has contracted the coronavirus, the vaccine plays no role in it. 

WHO has clearly stated multiple times that the vaccine cannot make anyone COVID positive. 

What precautions should you take for your safety after vaccination?

Post Vaccine care is also very important to prevent corona infection. Ensure that you follow all the COVID protocols even after vaccination. Always wear a mask, clean your hands and keep your hands and your environment sanitized.

Check for Post vaccine symptoms:

  • Sore injection site 
  • Pain in the injected arm
  • Mild fever
  • Moderate fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea

If you observe any severe symptom or reaction after vaccination immediately consult a doctor. 


Vaccination is like a shield against the coronavirus and this is the only way to fight the pandemic. Ensure that you and your family members get vaccinated at the time and take proper Post COVID precautions.