When to get tested for COVID-19 after vaccination

When you are vaccinated against COVID-19, it helps protect you from getting the illness. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can potentially spread the virus to others.

“Fully vaccinated” means you are 14 days past your final shot of COVID-19 vaccine. People who are fully vaccinated may still need to be tested for COVID-19 in certain situations. In late July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after exposure.

Infections happen in only a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. Memorial Health System, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend that you continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands and avoid crowds in public places even if you are fully vaccinated. Also wear a mask in public indoor settings if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

Here are additional scenarios in which testing may be required, even if you are fully vaccinated:

  • If it is required by your airline or by the government of the country where you plan to travel. Some airlines and governments will accept a vaccine card in lieu of testing.
  • Three to five days after returning from international travel.
  • If you have been around someone who has COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. You may also need to be tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 while living in a group setting such as an assisted living home.

Memorial Health System is committed to sharing COVID-19 information with the community throughout the pandemic. Thank you for continuing to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, testing facilities are available throughout the community. To find a testing location near you, please visit choosememorial.org/COVID19.

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