Don’t worry, you’re not alone. As over 92 million people worldwide have already had COVID19, a whole lotta folks are wondering about vaccination after infection. You had questions; the Nerdy Girls have answers!
➡️Cathy from Hong Kong and Diane from Michigan ask: “Does a person who has already had COVID need to be vaccinated?”
Yes! The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID19. COVID19 poses significant health risks (remember: about 1 in 59 people die who get symptomatic COVID19 infections and many people are “#longhaulers” with prolonged symptoms), and it is possible to get reinfected. Immunity from having an infection is called natural immunity. We don’t know yet how long natural immunity lasts or how strong it is, and it’s different person to person. Immunity from vaccination is probably better and much more consistent. The data from the clinical trials for the vaccines did not show any safety concerns in getting the vaccine after COVID19 infection.
➡️Erica from Winnipeg asks: “Can you comment on waiting 3 months after a positive COVID diagnosis before receiving the COVID vaccine?”
Because reinfection is very unlikely within the first 90 days of getting COVID19, the CDC says its ok to “delay” vaccination if you had COVID19 within the last 90 days. However, there is no minimum time frame between being sick with COVID19 and getting the vaccine. So, if it is your turn and it’s been less than 90 days, you don’t have to wait! However (big caveat here), some (not all) local jurisdictions are asking people to wait until after the 90 days. This isn’t because it’s unsafe, it is because vaccine supply is limited, and they are prioritizing people who are at higher risk of infection. Of course, you need to wait until you feel better after being sick and no longer need to be in isolation to go get your shot.
One more clinical twist, you do have to wait 90 days if you received treatment with monoclonal antibodies. The goal is to avoid any potential interference of the antibody therapy with vaccine-induced immune responses.
➡️Laura from Bristol, UK wants to know: “Having definitely had COVID in March, will I only need one vaccine dose? And if I have two doses, will my immune system go into overdrive?”
Even if you already had COVID, you still need to complete all the recommended doses of the vaccine. The #Pfizer-BioNTech and #Moderna vaccines both require 2 doses to get the maximum protection. New vaccines in the pipeline may require only one dose.
The studies looking at the vaccines have not seen any significant safety concerns for people who had already had COVID19 and then got the vaccine. You may notice more “reactogenic” symptoms after the vaccine, Iike fever, muscle aches, headache, and fatigue. These are good signs that your immune system is fired up and getting ready to kick viral butt!
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and excellent vaccine questions! Keep them coming!
#Vaccine #COVID19 #CovidVaccine #DearPandemic
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