Don’t Let Your Guard Down – Get Asymptomatically Tested
As with most vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at helping prevent the virus from causing infection and illness. However, not enough is known to assume the COVID-19 vaccines can stop viral transmission to others. As Dr. Collins said last week, "We still do not have sufficient data to determine whether those who have been vaccinated might still carry the virus and be capable of spreading it to others."
We are encouraged by the recent influx of vaccine for our staff, allowing frontline workers another level of safety and protection. However, even after vaccination, we must consider the potential that someone could still get mildly infected and transmit the virus, even if asymptomatic.
Hence, we still mask. We still physical distance. We still wash our hands. And, we still get asymptomatically tested.
Asymptomatic testing is key to our surveillance efforts, understanding the prevalence of infection in the community, and ensuring we protect each other by mitigating workplace transmission. This is just as important post-vaccination. We have already seen evidence of staff members testing positive for the SAR-CoV-2 infection after receiving their first vaccine dose.
Please continue to test regularly through asymptomatic testing (https://clinweb.cc.nih.gov/cct), even if you do not have symptoms. If you're feeling sick or have had a high-risk exposure, fill out our Coronavirus Screening Tool (https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/Pages/oms-covid-screening.aspx).
The NIH offers numerous locations for convenient asymptomatic testing, including locations in Bethesda, Frederick, Shady Grove, Fisher's Lane, Baltimore and at our locations in Research Triangle Park (NC), Rocky Mountain Laboratories (MT) and Phoenix (AZ).
If you have questions about testing, please call the NIH COVID Call Center at 301-480-8990 or email OMSMonitoringProgram@mail.nih.gov.