Science and Health

What's The Risk Of Getting Others Sick After You're Vaccinated?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.

What's The Risk Of Getting Others Sick After You're Vaccinated?
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

As more people become vaccinated, you might be wondering about the risks of getting sick with COVID-19. 

We asked the experts, what’s the risk of getting others sick after you’ve been vaccinated?

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 after the vaccine is medium.

"There's still a few things that we don't know about. We think we're sure that there is protection, but we need to validate that with data. And that's what we're waiting for," Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and northwest region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine, said. 

"I would classify as moderate, and here's why: We're still learning a lot about the likelihood of someone who has been fully vaccinated getting the infection and their capacity, if they do — even if they don't have symptoms — to spread that infection to someone else. We know that it is possible for that to happen," Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, associate medical director of infection control and epidemiology at Nebraska Medical Center, said. 

"Until we have those studies, everybody should still continue to wear masks socially, just try to avoid the large group gatherings until we know for sure,"  Dr. Frank Esper, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, said.

For more answers on what is low-, medium- or high-risk, visit