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Should I get a booster shot if I’ve already had COVID-19?

Biology/Immunity Vaccines

Yes! Even if you have already been infected, getting the recommended booster vaccine is a good idea.

There is some evidence that hybrid immunity, or immunity obtained from getting vaccinated and having a COVID-19 infection, can provide good protection against COVID-19. So why should I get a booster if I had COVID?

😬 Hybrid immunity can provide strong immunity, but it isn’t consistent from person to person. Not everyone has the same response.

🤔 We don’t know who will have a good immune response and who won’t, or whose immune response will wane quickly and whose will last for a while.

💉 Vaccination produces consistently strong immune responses across populations.

👏 The booster shot has been shown to reduce serious infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. These are, of course, all outcomes we care about.

🔥 The booster shot is safe. Safety monitoring for COVID-19 vaccines has been intense. Over and over again, both the primary series and booster shots have been shown to be safe, even if you already had COVID.

🤧 Getting COVID-19 sucks. Even “mild” illness can feel anything but mild, and serious illness and Long COVID are still possible. Reducing the risk of infection is a good idea.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a booster dose for all people 12 years and up. After infection, the booster can be given as soon as the individual feels better, meets criteria to get out of isolation, and is due for the shot. Some folks recommend waiting until immunity from infection wanes, but there isn’t a good strategy to actually tell when immunity wanes (not only do we not routinely test for antibodies, antibodies don’t tell the whole story).

Stay safe. Stay sane. Get Boosted.