CDC Issues Guidance Regarding Potential COVID-19 Vaccination Impact on TB Test Results

January 21, 2021

On January 7, 2021, The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) provided guidance to healthcare personnel who require both TB testing and COVID-19 vaccination due to a possible false negative TB result.

According to the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices) inactive vaccines do not interfere with TB test results. However, vaccines with live viruses can cause mild immune suppression issues, and may reduce the reactivity of the TST, possibly causing a false-negative reaction.

Although the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is not a live virus vaccine, not enough is yet known of the potential impact of mRNA vaccines on immune responses to say conclusively whether the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine could have a potential effect on TST or IGRA test results during the first 4 weeks after COVID-19 vaccination.

For healthcare employees who are required to undergo baseline TB testing at the same time they are to receive and COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, either for employment or access to facilities, the CDC recommends the following:
• Perform TB symptom screening on all healthcare personnel or patients
• If using IGRA, draw blood prior to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination
• If using TST, place prior to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination
• If COVID-19 mRNA vaccination has already occurred, defer TST or IGRA until 4 weeks after completion of 2-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination

All potential recipients of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination should determine the risks and benefits of postponing TST/IGRA with their healthcare providers.

Additional information and recommendations can be found in the full CDC guidance here:

If you have any questions about this new requirement, or anything pertaining to Occupational Health Screening during the current COVID-19 pandemic, please contact Frasco® Profiles at (800) 820-9209.

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