Yes, but the risk is much, much lower than for persons who have not received the vaccine. There are two scenarios where a person could get COVID-19 after receiving a vaccine:
- A person may have been exposed to COVID-19 within 10-14 days before receiving the vaccine. When the vaccine is given, they are in the ‘incubation period’ (similar to a ‘window’ period). At the time that the vaccine is given, the person does not have symptoms, but symptoms such as cough, fever, headache and body aches and pains develop with 7-10 days of receiving the vaccine. If COVID-like symptoms occur and persist (i.e. they stay or get worse) during the 7-10 days after getting the vaccine, a person should see a medical practitioner immediately.
- A person may develop a ‘breakthrough infection’ at any time (weeks, months or years) after the vaccine. The vaccine trials have shown us that there are ‘breakthrough’ infections after all types of vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2. But breakthrough infections occur much less frequently in persons who have been vaccinated, and these infections are usually mild-to-moderate and don’t require admission. Trials published to date show that vaccine effectiveness ranges from 65% to 95%. An excellent summary of current evidence showing how effective COVID-19 vaccines are may be found on the CDC website.