If You're Vaccinated, This Is the Tell-Tale Sign You Have COVID, Study Says
Doing this one thing "with no explanation after you've been vaccinated could be a sign of COVID-19."
We've all spent the past 15 months wondering if that cough that won't quit or funny taste in our mouths could be COVID. But now that the majority of people in the U.S. are at least partially vaccinated against the virus, most of those fears have dissipated, and rightfully so. The truth is, COVID breakthrough infections among vaccinated people are incredibly rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, as of April 30, just 10,262 patients of about 101 million fully vaccinated people had gotten COVID—that's a .01 percent likelihood. But if you notice one innocuous symptom, you could be in that minority, according to a new report from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study.
The researchers behind the ZOE COVID Symptom Study—from King's College London, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Stanford University School of Medicine—have been tracking COVID patients' symptoms for more than a year. Lately, they said in a mid-June statement, "We've found that sneezing a lot is a more common sign of infection in those who've been vaccinated."
"Curiously, we did notice that people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab.
If you've been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should definitely get a COVID test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease."
While incredibly effective—Pfizer and Moderna are about 95 percent effective against symptomatic COVID, while Johnson & Johnson is around 66 percent—the vaccines do not block COVID completely. The researchers say that in general, vaccinated people who do get COVID "experience the same kinds of symptoms as unvaccinated people do, but their illness is milder and shorter"—or they don't have symptoms at all. However, "sneezing a lot with no explanation after you've been vaccinated could be a sign of COVID-19."
The researchers also note that sneezing is a very efficient way for a virus to spread, as it sends contaminated particles flying into the air. They conclude that "sneezing a lot could be a potential sign that someone vaccinated has COVID-19 and, however mild, should take a test and self-isolate to protect their friends, family and colleagues."