DOH Guidance for Healthcare Personnel with Signs and Symptoms Following COVID-19 Vaccination

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has provided guidance for responding to signs and symptoms following COVID-19 vaccination in healthcare personnel (HCP). Strategies are needed for healthcare facilities to appropriately evaluate and manage post-vaccination signs and symptoms among healthcare personnel (HCP) to minimize staffing disruptions and transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Key points in the advisory include:

  • Signs and symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia, and arthralgia, can typically occur following COVID-19 vaccination, usually within the first three days of vaccination.
  • Presence of signs and symptoms consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection that are not typical for post-vaccination signs and symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath, rhinorrhea, sore throat, loss of taste or smell) should not be attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Positive viral (nucleic acid or antigen) tests for SARS-CoV-2, if performed, should not be attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine, as vaccination does not influence the results of these tests.

The steps healthcare facilities should take in response to HCP who develop symptoms in the 3 days following vaccination for COVID-19 are outlined. If you have questions about this guidance, please contact DOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1- 877-724-3258) or your local health department. Click here to access all the 2020 DOH Health Alerts, advisories and updates.