HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – With the Omicron variant making its way throughout the nation and world, many who are vaccinated, as well as those who are unvaccinated, are contracting COVID-19.

Health officials say the way the body reacts to someone contracting COVID-19, whether they’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, depends on multiple different factors but the protocol after getting it remains the same.

What is the protocol for someone who’s vaccinated?

“The protocol is no different whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated if you actually come down with the disease. Now, the change just happened a couple days ago from the CDC and their guidance. Now, if you become positive, you have to isolate for five days. At the end of the five days, if you’re symptoms are improving, you can come out of isolation, but you may wear a tight-fitting mask. So, there’s still a 10-day period that you’re observed,” says Stanley Mills an Epidemiology and Environmental Health Program Manager with the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.

Mills says people who are vaccinated may experience milder symptoms if they contracted the virus compared to the symptoms of someone who is unvaccinated.

“There’s no rhyme or reason because this is a virus that has to interact with your body to create the disease. And because everyone’s DNA is a little bit different, as well as your own immune response, it’s hard to generally say ‘[the symptoms are] going to be less,’” he explains.

Why are people who are vaccinated getting COVID-19?

“As a virus mutates, it mutates in ways that can help it survive in nature. So, this new one has learned to spread quicker and has learned somehow to work around the vaccine,” explains Mills.

He says it takes “about 10 days” after receiving the vaccine for someone to build antibodies against the virus.

“So, you can be vaccinated and pick up the virus because you haven’t built any antibodies. And again, it’s a little bit sensitive on the individual; you may get [antibodies] in 10 days, [or you may] never get antibodies.”

Mills also says if you currently have COVID-19, you should wait before getting the booster shot.

Should I get the booster shot if I have COVID-19?

“Remember the booster of all vaccines create an immune response, and if you’re coming off the disease, then you’ve already got an immune response and it may not work as well as if you wait that time,” Mills says.

Anyone wanted to get tested can visit the DHHR’s website here for a list of testing sites.