Your Covid-19 questions answered

If I've been vaccinated do I still need to self-isolate?

23 July 2021 - 07:00 By kyle zeeman
Those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not. File image.
Those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not. File image.
Image: Ruvan boshoff

You have just got the Covid-19 jab! But if you now come into contact with someone suspected of having Covid-19 do you still need to self-isolate for 10 days?

The ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 vaccines advises that those who come into contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19 should self-isolate, whether they have had the vaccine or not.

“Non-healthcare workers need to quarantine, even if they have been vaccinated, especially if they have received only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or within four weeks of being vaccinated.”

According to the SA National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the body's immune system takes up to 14 days to develop strong immune responses after the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The ministerial advisory committee said healthcare workers who regularly come into contact with potentially infected patients must “ensure their personal protective equipment (PPE) is satisfactory to avoid the need for quarantine”.

Dr Susan Louw, a haematopathologist at SA’s National Health Laboratory Service, told the Sunday Times for two to three weeks after getting the vaccine, you are not any more protected than someone who has not got the jab yet.

“It takes about two to three weeks for your body to get the army of antibodies ready to fight Covid-19,” she said.


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