COVID-19: 0.54% of hospital staff caught virus 1-10 days after vaccination

Study calls on medical personnel not to dismiss post-vaccination symptoms

A HEALTHCARE worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Rehovot on Monday. (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
A HEALTHCARE worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Rehovot on Monday.
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Medical personnel should not be quick to dismiss postvaccination symptoms as vaccine-related, and should always test for COVID-19 if symptoms are evident, a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday stated.
The study was written by a group of Israeli doctors and scientists from Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, all of whom have been active players in the struggle to combat the spread of the virus and treat its victims in Israel.
It focuses on the occurrence of COVID-19 symptoms and, specifically, their occurrence after being vaccinated, with the purpose of preventing cases of the disease’s symptoms being mistaken for vaccine side effects. Such mistakes, the study noted, are more common than expected.
“The co-occurrence of vaccination deployment with the rapidly climbing COVID-19 spread in many parts of the world is a confusing period in which hope is mixed with great vulnerability,” the study reads. Therefore, “every physical complaint after vaccination poses a true diagnostic dilemma as to whether an adverse reaction or a new COVID-19 infection is the cause.”
In Israel, among 4,081 vaccinated healthcare personnel who were included in the study, 22 (0.54%) developed COVID-19 one to 10 days after inoculation.
Among those, 13 healthcare personnel were tested simply because they presented symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, headache and fever, all common to influenza-like disease, which can easily be overlooked and dismissed, especially when the country’s hospitals are dealing with an overwhelming number of patients on a daily basis.
The other nine healthcare personnel who tested positive after being vaccinated were tested because they were exposed to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.
Considering the fact that vaccinating healthcare workers in Israel and in many other parts of the world is considered a priority, the study stressed the importance of detecting postvaccination infections in this group, noting the deadly chain reaction that can be caused by an unknown infected hospital employee.
Thus, the study concludes, health clinics and hospitals should exercise a high level of suspicion whenever they encounter reported symptoms.
It should be noted, however, that the authors stressed there is no question that “large-scale vaccination of risk groups and later the general population is the single most effective public health measure for mitigation of the coronavirus disease.”