The CDC Says You Don't Need to Do This Before Your COVID Vaccine

This one thing is not recommended prior to vaccination.

Experts have been speaking out about the things you need to do before and after getting your COVID vaccine. We have learned that there are certain OTC medications you need to stop taking before getting your vaccine, and you definitely shouldn't get rid of your masks immediately after. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued some of its own precautions surrounding vaccinations. However, there is one thing the CDC says you don't need to do before getting your COVID vaccine. Read on to find out which precaution isn't necessary, and for more vaccine news, This Is Who Should Wait for the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Experts Say.

The CDC says you do not need to get tested for COVID before your vaccination.

woman getting tested at drive thru covid testing

If a person is currently infected with COVID, the CDC says that their vaccination should be deferred until they have recovered and are allowed to discontinue isolation. You should also wait for your second shot if you get infected in between doses, the agency says. However, since many people have asymptomatic cases of COVID, you may be wondering if you need a negative test result before your vaccine appointment. According to the CDC, this is not necessary. "Viral testing to assess for acute SARS-CoV-2 infection" is not recommended, per guidelines released by the agency. And for more CDC guidance on vaccination, The CDC Says Don't Do This With the Second Dose of Your COVID Vaccine.

You don't need to test for prior infection either.


The CDC says you also do not need to do antibody testing to see if you've already had the virus before getting vaccinated. This may be something you've considered: The agency says that "while vaccine supply remains limited," people who have recently had COVID may choose to temporarily delay their vaccination, especially since current evidence suggests that the risk of reinfection remains low after initial infection because an antibody response has already been created in the body. Even so, an antibody test before vaccination is not recommended. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

There are several reasons to not get vaccinated if you're knowingly infected with COVID.

Young businesswoman coughing into elbow in the office. Her coworker is in the background.

According to Amy Baxter, MD, chief medical officer for PainCareLabs, there are a number of reasons the CDC recommends you postpone your vaccine if you are knowingly infected with COVID. She says that one of the biggest issues is the fact that you are putting everyone who is near you while you're getting a shot at risk for infection. At the same time, you are also "wasting a vaccine for someone else while demand is high and supply is low," Baxter says. And for more on your coronavirus risk, If You've Done This Recently, You're 70 Percent More Likely to Get COVID.

You may also experience adverse reactions if you get vaccinated while experiencing symptoms.

Young man suffering with fever and chills while sitting wrapped in a blanket on the sofa at home

Leann Poston, MD, a licensed physician and health adviser for Invigor Medical, says that the "standard recommendation" for any type of vaccine is that you should wait to get vaccinated if you are currently ill. While not much research has been done on vaccinating people who are infected with the coronavirus, Javeed Siddiqui, MD, chief medical officer at TeleMed2U, says there could be negative reactions. "When a person is ill or has a fever, the risk for complications and side effects from vaccination can increase," Siddiqui warns. "All vaccines, including the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, should not be given during time of illness or if an individual has a fever." And for more ways to keep yourself safe, If You See This on Your Mask, the FDA Says Toss It Immediately.

However, an asymptomatic case is unlikely to cause issues with the vaccine.

A man receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from a female healthcare professional. They are both wearing protective masks.

According to Poston, when you have an asymptomatic case of the coronavirus, your immune system is not actively engaged in a battle with the virus. After all, it is highly theorized that those who do not develop symptoms with COVID do not get ill because their immune system efficiently and easily fights off the virus without the need for a "battle," per se.

"The recommendation to hold off on getting the vaccine if you are ill with COVID-19 is based on the premise that your immune system is busy actively fighting the infection, not on whether you are an asymptomatic carrier," Poston explains. "If you are asymptomatic or a carrier, you should get vaccinated. Your immune system is not actively engaged in a battle with the virus and increased exposure to the spike protein via the vaccine may help you mount a stronger response." And for a look at life post-vaccination, Dr. Fauci Just Confirmed You Can Do This After Getting Vaccinated.

You can technically get vaccinated as long as you do not have symptoms.

doctor with syringe injecting vaccine on young woman patient against coronavirus -

The reason the CDC doesn't recommend you test for an asymptomatic case before getting the vaccine—even though they say you shouldn't get the vaccine if infected—is that complications are unlikely, and testing everyone before they get vaccinated is "not worth messing up the flow" of the rollout, Baxter says. Even the CDC notes that "persons without symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may be vaccinated," as waiting for test results "would create delays in vaccination." However, you can still infect others if you are asymptomatic, so if you've knowingly tested positive for the virus before your vaccine appointment, you should still quarantine and wait to get vaccinated, symptoms or not. And for more vaccination guidelines, The CDC Says Don't Do This Within 2 Weeks of Your COVID Vaccine.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Filed Under