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  • COVID-19
  • Scheduling Vaccines

What should be done if a patient scheduled for vaccination is exposed to COVID-19 or is isolated for suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection?

An asymptomatic person who is scheduled for COVID-19 vaccination and is exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus may be vaccinated; however, COVID-19 vaccination after exposure is not recommended as post-exposure prophylaxis, so vaccination should not be expected to prevent illness caused by past exposure. CDC recommends that such patients follow its post-exposure guidance

People with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer any COVID-19 vaccination at least until recovery from the acute illness (if symptoms were present) and criteria to discontinue isolation have been met. CDC’s detailed information about isolation and its recommended criteria for ending isolation are listed here:

People who recently had SARS-CoV-2 infection and are due for an updated (2023–2024 Formula) vaccine may consider delaying the dose by up to 3 months from symptom onset or positive test (if infection was asymptomatic). According to CDC, increasing the time between infection and vaccination may result in an improved immune response to vaccination. At this time, there is evidence of a low risk of reinfection in the weeks following infection. A recipient’s individual risks for severe disease and current COVID-19 conditions in the community should be taken into account when deciding whether to delay vaccination up to 3 months after infection.

Last reviewed: October 26, 2023

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