Can You Get a False Positive PCR Test After Vaccine?
The general public tends to blindly assume a lot of things regarding vaccines and the COVID-19 Pandemic. One of these terrible assumptions is that you can get a false positive PCR test after the vaccine.
This misconception is loosely based on the notion that vaccinated people are essentially injected with the virus and, therefore, tests after inoculation will turn up to be positive. We can see how this could make sense to some extent, but we need to be more critical than this.
A PCR false positive after the vaccine is entirely possible but not because of misguided preconceived notions. Yes, one can still get a false positive test result right after vaccination, but it will not be because of getting vaccinated.
Several factors outside the actual vaccination will play a part in a false positive result, but the vaccine itself will not get you a false positive result.
Can One Get a False Positive Test After Vaccination?
To answer this question, we must understand how vaccines work.
Vaccines, in general, are the inoculation of a dead or attenuated form of a virus or bacteria into the human body. These harmless forms of a pathogen are injected to trick our bodies into producing antibodies.
Once we get into contact with the live, harmful forms of these viruses and bacteria, the antibodies that our bodies previously produced would prevent infection.
Vaccines containing dead or inactive forms of viruses or bacteria may result in a false positive when subjected to some form of test. This is not the case, however, with the current COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain dead or attenuated forms of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. They only contain a very small part of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. This form of the virus will not be enough to incur a PCR false positive after the vaccine.
The Main Reason for a False Positive Result After Vaccination
A positive COVID test after a booster or vaccination can occur due to a few reasons. The main reason would be contracting the virus and getting infected right before vaccination. In this case, a false positive could be a real positive test result. Getting a second test and observing for symptoms is advisable.
Another reason for incurring false positive results after vaccination is the improper administration of these tests. Improper usage of self-administered tests, like in the case of buying a lateral flow test for yourself, can lead to invalid, false negative, or false positive test results.
Make sure that you follow all protocols and instructions when getting tested for COVID-19.
Is it Possible to Get Infected With COVID After Vaccination?
The world worked hand-in-hand to come up with the vaccine that can quell the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although highly effective in preventing serious illness and death, the vaccine does not totally prevent infection and contraction of the SARS Cov-2 virus.
Furthermore, there are currently 5 variants of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Available vaccines have varying efficacy against each variant, and one's protection against every variant can depend on what brand of vaccine you were inoculated with.
Vaccines are said to prevent up to 95% of all infections. This is still not a hundred percent and breakthrough infections still occur. People infected after being vaccinated show milder symptoms and will be at very low risk of dying or being hospitalized.
People who get one of the 2 doses of COVID vaccines are only partially protected, so infection, despite being vaccinated, is a higher possibility for them. These people are advised to undergo precautions exactly like that of people who are unvaccinated to prevent transmission and infection.
Other Things You Should Know About False Positives After Vaccines
- It is unlikely that you will get a false positive from an LFT test –
Lateral Flow tests not only take a shorter time for results to show but are more accurate. A Cochrane review in March of 2021 reveals that LFT tests are 98.9% to 99.5% accurate. Positive lateral flow after the vaccine most likely means you are infected with the virus.
- Purchase your home test kits from credible sources –
Stay on Top of Things
Although tests and vaccines keep us relatively safe from COVID, it is still advised that we stay on top of things by having test kits at our immediate disposal. Infection is still a possibility in this new normal world, and the best way we can combat infection is by being aware of our situation.