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Should people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 postpone their vaccine appointment?

Last Updated May 13, 2021 at 12:22 pm PDT

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Summary

Self-isolation required for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or who likely has it after being exposed to virus

If Public Health has directed you to self-isolate, you must wait at least two weeks to get vaccinated

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you have questions, NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question: 

Cherill says her daughter and grand-daughter both tested positive for COVID-19 just days before she was set to get her vaccine. She wants to know if she can still keep her appointment if she doesn’t have any symptoms, but hasn’t quarantined for 14 days.

Answer:

Self-isolation is required for anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or who likely has it after spending time with someone who has the virus.

Public Health workers say the goal is to lower any chance of spreading the coronavirus. That means anyone instructed to isolate needs to wait at least two weeks before getting the vaccine.

According to Fraser Health, the following groups are required to self-isolate:

  • Anyone with symptoms including a cough, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, headache, loss of appetite, chills, runny nose and loss of smell or taste senses
  • People confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Travellers returning to Canada from other countries including the United States
  • Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases already instructed to isolate

If you are a close contact of a confirmed case, you are required to self-isolate for two weeks — even if you have zero symptoms. That’s because it can take up to 14 days from initial exposure for someone to feel sick or for symptoms to materialize.

During that incubation period, there’s also a chance you can spread germs.

If Public Health has directed you to self-isolate, you must wait at least two weeks to get vaccinated because you do not want to expose people at an immunization clinic to the virus.

People who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to get tested, but if you have any doubts, contact your family doctor or reach out to your local health authority.

Find a full list of previously answered questions and submit your own on our Gets Answers page.