Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Nov 2:1-8. doi: 10.1017/ice.2021.449. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence of systemic overlap and typical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms in healthcare personnel (HCP) following COVID-19 vaccination and association of reported symptoms with diagnosis of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the context of public health recommendations regarding work exclusion.
DESIGN: This prospective cohort study was conducted between December 16, 2020, and March 14, 2021, with HCP who had received at least 1 dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
SETTING: Large healthcare system in New England.
INTERVENTIONS: HCP were prompted to complete a symptom survey for 3 days after each vaccination. Reported symptoms generated automated guidance regarding symptom management, SARS-CoV-2 testing requirements, and work restrictions. Overlap symptoms (ie, fever, fatigue, myalgias, arthralgias, or headache) were categorized as either lower or higher severity. Typical COVID-19 symptoms included sore throat, cough, nasal congestion or rhinorrhea, shortness of breath, ageusia and anosmia.
RESULTS: Among 64,187 HCP, a postvaccination electronic survey had response rates of 83% after dose 1 and 77% after dose 2. Report of ≥3 lower-severity overlap symptoms, ≥1 higher-severity overlap symptoms, or at least 1 typical COVID-19 symptom after dose 1 was associated with increased likelihood of testing positive. HCP with prior COVID-19 infection were significantly more likely to report severe overlap symptoms after dose 1.
CONCLUSIONS: Reported overlap symptoms were common; however, only report of ≥3 low-severity overlap symptoms, at least 1 higher-severity overlap symptom, or any typical COVID-19 symptom were associated with infection. Work-related restrictions for overlap symptoms should be reconsidered.
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