You were vaccinated against Covid-19. You get randomly tested, confident of clean bill of health, but the test comes back positive. It may come as a shock, but it is normal, and you are still better off for having been vaccinated.
In the course of their regular routine testing, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) found that among those who tested positive, there were 400 who had been vaccinated.
It is a timely reminder that to date, there has never been a vaccine that guarantees complete protection from a disease, and this is true of Covid-19 vaccines.
Rwanda’s RBC reminds people that when, for instance, vaccines are authorised for emergency use, as many Covid-19 vaccines are, scientists expect only partial protection, including lessening the severity of the disease, if contracted.
Of the 400 to test positive, none had symptoms severe enough to be hospitalised. The RBC’s findings will come as no surprise to them, or other researchers and scientists around the world.
Through the Covid Study Application, a Covid-19 epidemiological research study app, researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with health company ZOE Global Limited, looked at the rate of infection among people who had been vaccinated.
The study was based on over a million results. The respondents had been vaccinated with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
The study found that respectively, 2,394 and 187 tested positive, or 0.2% and 0.03%. The study drew no conclusions about the effectiveness of either vaccine.
Only 104, or 0.04% of these people, needed hospitalisation. The rest suffered only relatively minor symptoms.
The study found that the elderly, and those with less healthy life styles were more likely to be infected after vaccination. People with a Higher Body Mass Index (BMI) for instance, ran a greater risk.
The likelihood of infection after vaccination was also determined by the prevalence of Covid-19 where people lived, with more underprivileged areas facing a higher risk.
For both sets of researchers, whether at RBC, or King’s College London, or indeed the WHO, the advice remains simple and straightforward.
Do get vaccinated if you can. Continue to observe Covid-19 preventive measures, and if you feel any of the Covid-19 symptoms, do go and get tested, whether or not you have been vaccinated.
Vaccines will protect you, but if you fail to follow the preventive measures, you are still liable to contracting the disease. Luckily, if you do contract the disease, you are likely to be less adversely affected than someone who has yet to be vaccinated.
It is for this reason that health authorities are calling anyone has been vaccinated, to continue observing the preventive measures, not only to protect themselves, but others who may be more vulnerable.