My physician-fiancée and I have an amusing relationship – we talk about vaccines. We were wondering if someone should get the COVID-19 vaccine after a bout of COVID.
And what she determined was a firm yes, you probably should get the COVID-19 vaccine even after recovering from COVID-19 because the vaccines provide better immunity than the natural infection. I know, several anti-vaccine probably fainted from reading this scientific fact.
Let me lay out the logic for this recommendation.
Why you should get the COVID-19 vaccine after COVID?
- The natural COVID-19 infection does provide some immunity, but published studies seem to indicate that the protection wanes after about 90 days.
- Although it is rare, some people can contract COVID-19 twice.
- We don’t have evidence as to how well natural immunity protects us from the numerous variants that are circulating.
- The vaccines currently available in the USA, from Pfizer, Moderna, and JNJ, provide strong protection for a minimum of six months.
- The vaccines also appear to be effective against many of the variants.
So when should you get the vaccine?
Well, you should get the COVID-19 vaccine within 90 days of the COVID infection. But, as recommended by the CDC, you should wait until after you are symptom-free and have completed the 10-day isolation period. This is so you don’t put healthcare workers at risk of contracting the disease from you.
- Abdool Karim SS, de Oliveira T. New SARS-CoV-2 Variants – Clinical, Public Health, and Vaccine Implications. N Engl J Med. 2021 May 13;384(19):1866-1868. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2100362. Epub 2021 Mar 24. PMID: 33761203; PMCID: PMC8008749.
- Doria-Rose N, Suthar MS, Makowski M, O’Connell S, McDermott AB, Flach B, Ledgerwood JE, Mascola JR, Graham BS, Lin BC, O’Dell S, Schmidt SD, Widge AT, Edara VV, Anderson EJ, Lai L, Floyd K, Rouphael NG, Zarnitsyna V, Roberts PC, Makhene M, Buchanan W, Luke CJ, Beigel JH, Jackson LA, Neuzil KM, Bennett H, Leav B, Albert J, Kunwar P; mRNA-1273 Study Group. Antibody Persistence through 6 Months after the Second Dose of mRNA-1273 Vaccine for Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 6. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2103916. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33822494.
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