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When to Get the Vaccine After Having COVID-19

by: Post-COVID Support Team

April 4, 2023

Making informed decisions about our health is more crucial than ever as the globe struggles to deal with the current pandemic. Questions about the timing and effectiveness of vaccines have been raised in response to their development, particularly for those who have already been exposed to the virus.

In order to provide clear and straightforward recommendations on the suggested waiting periods between COVID-19 recovery and vaccination delivery, we will look into the most recent research and professional viewpoints.

Join us as we explore the specifics of when to get vaccines after COVID-19 and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to safeguard your family and yourself.

How long should it take to receive vaccines?

Experts advise waiting about three months (90 days) after contracting COVID disease before receiving the COVID vaccine. After contracting COVID disease, you should wait 4 to 6 months before getting a COVID booster.

But there is one condition. You must wait 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 if you’ve gotten monoclonal antibodies before getting the vaccine.

What are monoclonal antibodies?

Immune system proteins known as monoclonal antibodies are produced in a laboratory. Your body naturally produces antibodies, which assist the immune system in identifying pathogens like viruses and bacteria and marking them for eradication. Monoclonal antibodies, like your body’s own antibodies, recognize particular targets.

How are monoclonal antibodies used?

The use of monoclonal antibodies defines how immunotherapy works. And these antibodies are used in the treatment of various illnesses and disorders.

Monoclonal antibodies can bind to malignant cells when combined with a deadly substance, such as a potent radioactive substance, thanks to their specificity. The radioactive substance aims to kill cancer cells while sparing healthy ones.

Moreover, monoclonal antibodies are used for COVID-positive patients and are at a high risk of developing a serious illness. In these patients, monoclonal antibody therapy has been proven to lower hospitalization and mortality rates.

Do monoclonal antibodies have side effects?

Monoclonal antibodies may cause symptoms like chills and fever, headache, nausea that leads to vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhoea and mores. The more typical adverse effects of monoclonal antibody medications include allergic reactions like hives or itching as well as flu-like symptoms like chills, lethargy, fever and aches and pains in the muscles.

Is vaccination needed if one had already COVID illness?

Yes, you should still get vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID-19. The duration of immunity that you receive after having COVID-19 disease is variable and current estimates are that it goes away over about three months. Public health officials urge everyone to get vaccinated against the virus, even if you’ve previously had COVID-19. New research shows those who are vaccinated have better protection against serious future infections.

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve previously contracted the disease is necessary. A certain amount of natural immunity is provided by prior infections, although this immunity may not be as strong or long-lasting as that offered by vaccination.

Additionally, getting vaccinated can aid in defending you against potential future viral strains. Studies have shown that people who have had COVID-19 and then receive the vaccine respond to it more strongly than people who never had the sickness.

How long can immunity last after a COVID infection?

Recent research has demonstrated that recovery after a COVID-19 infection can differ from person to person and may depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Age
  • Severity of the condition
  • Person’s immune system reaction

People who have had COVID-19 typically experience an immunological reaction that produces antibodies, T-cells and B-cells. These immune responses aid in preventing subsequent viral infection. The degree and length of this immunity can, however, differ greatly.

Immunity may endure for several months, according to some research, while others contend that it may only last a few weeks. However, research tells us that the natural immunity acquired from a prior COVID-19 infection may weaken with time, and it is currently unknown how long natural immunity may give protection.

Because of this, medical professionals advise people who have already contracted COVID-19 to still get vaccinated in order to offer further defense against future infection. Vaccination against COVID-19 can help ensure that you are protected against the virus, including any potential novel variants, as it has been demonstrated that the vaccines produce a potent and long-lasting immune response.

The length of immunity following a COVID-19 infection is currently a topic of ongoing research, but it is evident that vaccination offers further defense against subsequent infection and is advised for everyone, regardless of whether they have previously had COVID-19.

Is it possible to develop natural COVID immunity and avoid vaccination?

Natural immunity is the body’s capacity to fight harmful organisms like viruses and bacteria on its own. It is a form of immunity that develops over time when you come into touch with different diseases and is something that you are born with.

Your immune system creates antibodies that are particular to the pathogens your body is exposed to, such as viruses, when that exposure occurs. These antibodies aid in the virus’s neutralization and stop it from doing any damage. Your body develops a ‘memory’ of how to combat that specific virus over time, making it easier for your immune system to respond promptly and successfully if you come into contact with it again in the future.

There are variety of ways we can acquire natural immunity:

  • Exposure to pathogens in the environment
  • Breastfeeding
  • Genetic factors

Natural immunity can vary from person to person, and some individuals may be more susceptible to certain pathogens than others. And natural immunity may not provide complete protection against all pathogens, which is why vaccines and other medical interventions can be important in certain situations.

How soon can you get vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19?

When is it safe to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you recently recovered from the disease? While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, medical professionals typically advise delaying vaccination for a particular amount of time after your recuperation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises those who have had COVID-19 to hold off on getting the vaccine for at least 90 days after their sickness. This is because getting vaccinated too soon might not offer further benefits, and natural immunity acquired from a prior virus can continue for several months.

You can choose to get vaccinated before the 90-day window expires, if you are qualified to do so and have fully recovered from COVID-19. It is crucial to understand that receiving a vaccination will not hurt you or raise your risk of developing a serious illness, even if you still possess some innate immunity.

You must wait 90 days after obtaining monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as a part of your COVID-19 treatment before receiving the vaccine. This is because delaying therapy may allow you to reap the maximum vaccine benefits because these medications may affect how your immune system reacts to the vaccine.

Therefore, those who have had COVID-19 should typically wait at least 90 days following their sickness before obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine, but if they are eligible, there is no danger in getting vaccinated sooner. To get the best possible protection, you should wait 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma before getting vaccinated. A healthcare professional should always be consulted to ascertain the best course of action for you.

Should you still get a booster if you’ve had COVID illness?

Yes, even if you’ve had COVID-19 sickness, having a booster dose is advised. A certain amount of natural immunity is provided by prior infections, although this immunity may not be as strong or long-lasting as that offered by vaccination.

Research has demonstrated that receiving a COVID-19 booster shot after receiving COVID-19 can considerably improve your resistance against the virus and its variations. Your immune system may respond to the virus more effectively and persistently with the aid of the booster shot, which may lower your chance of developing serious disease, needing hospitalization and death.

Additionally, a booster shot is necessary to maintain protection against the virus’s evolving mutations and new variations. Booster injections may assist to further defend against these new types, according to recent evidence.

People who have already contracted COVID-19 should still receive a COVID-19 booster shot to provide further protection against the virus and its variations. It is essential to keep taking precautions to safeguard yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, such as getting vaccinated, donning masks, keeping a physical distance and washing your hands often. A healthcare professional should always be consulted to confirm the best course of action for you.

The benefits of getting the COVID vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently the most effective tool we have in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the key benefits of getting vaccinated:

  1. Protection against COVID-19: Vaccination has been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death. Even if you do contract the virus after being vaccinated, the vaccine can help reduce the severity of your illness and prevent complications.
  2. Preventing the spread of COVID-19: By getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself but also those around you, including vulnerable populations who may be at higher risk of severe illness or death.
  3. Helping to achieve herd immunity: Vaccination contributes to the collective effort to achieve herd immunity, which can help bring an end to the pandemic.
  4. Return to normalcy: With more people vaccinated, there is less risk of outbreaks, and we can start to resume activities that we had to put on hold during the pandemic, such as travel, attending events and gathering with friends and family.
  5. Safe and effective: Vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications. They also have also been shown to have a low risk of side effects, which are typically mild and short-lived.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most effective ways we can protect ourselves and others, prevent the spread of the virus, and ultimately bring an end to the pandemic.