COVID-19 Immunity: How long should you wait to get the vaccine after contracting the virus?

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 7:39 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Once you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, when do you become immune to the virus, and how long does the immunity last? How long should you wait to receive the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19 or receiving antibody therapy?

More than 400,000 Kentuckians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, but many still have questions about the process.

Some reports have said you can be vaccinated for COVID-19 after recovering from the disease as long as you aren’t showing symptoms. Melinda Joyce, Vice President of Corporate Support Services at Med Center Health said Med Center Health are following closely with guidance from the CDC that says to wait 90 days after recovering from the illness to be vaccinated.

“The recommendation is that you could wait 90 days from the time that you test positive if you have not received either one of the vaccines--if somebody has had dose one, and then they get sick with COVID, and it’s time for them to get dose two the recommendation there is provided they are out of quarantine, and that they are not having any symptoms, they can go ahead and get their second dose,” Joyce said.

Joyce said between seven and 14 days after administering the second dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, the vaccines are about 95 percent effective.

“95% of the people that got the dose, if exposed to COVID they would not have symptoms or if they did have symptoms, they would be very, very mild--so that means that the vaccine is working,” said Joyce.

So when would you need another dose of the vaccine? Joyce said at this time both manufacturers have yet to provide guidance on when additional doses of the vaccines are needed after the first two doses are administered.

“At this point the two drug companies with the approved vaccines, they’re not saying anything about any additional doses other than the first two, said Joyce. “I think we just have to see once we get a large number of people vaccinated, what does that really look like? And how do we see our numbers of infection start to decrease?”

Joyce says if you’ve received an antibody treatment to help with recovering from COVID-19 you must also wait 90 days after receiving the treatment to be vaccinated.

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