PHE Guidance for healthcare practitioners on the COVID-19 vaccination programme states that the COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19 infection. The DHSC Guidance on COVID-19 antibody testing further states that the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the result of antibody tests indicating previous infection.
Testing in different groups
Individuals with post-immunisation fever
This group should isolate and arrange to have a test if symptoms persist for longer than two days.
- The Green book states that vaccinated individuals should be advised that the COVID-19 vaccine may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected for other reasons.
- PHE Guidance on what to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination advises that if the vaccine recipient has any other COVID-19 symptoms or their fever lasts longer than two days they should stay at home and arrange to have a test.
Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
This group should be tested.
The most commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
Individuals who receive a first vaccine dose and subsequently test positive
There is currently no published advice on management of this particular group.
However, we have summarised advice on vaccinating individuals with a history of COVID-19 which includes updated guidance on scheduling of the second vaccine dose.