Why Should You Get A Booster Shot
According to the CDC, your protection against COVID-19 may decrease over time due to the virus mutations.
Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are less effective in preventing infection with Omicron than earlier variants, and booster doses partially restore that protection, Moss said. Importantly, vaccines remain protective against hospitalization and death.
Even if you had COVID-19 before, booster shots are still recommended because natural immunity isn’t always reliable. Some studies have found that natural immunity can offer protection for as much as eight months. But other studies have found that unvaccinated people with prior infection were over 5 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
Its a common misconception that people who have had an infection from COVID now have robust immunity, Natasha Bhuyan, MD, family physician at One Medical, told Verywell. The reality is that people develop different levels of immunity following a COVID infection, and we dont know the duration of how long immunity lasts after infection.
Viruses also mutate by nature, so being infected with one strain doesnt necessarily mean you have protection against other strains, she added.
The best way to maximize your protectioneven after getting COVID-19is to get your booster shot once you are eligible.
Is Brain Fog A Symptom Of Covid
Weve all heard about the common symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue and fever. But after the COVID-19 symptoms go away, research shows that 20-30 percent of people may experience brain fog a lingering problem that can affect the ability to perform everyday tasks.
How Are Vaccines Performing Against The Omicron Variant Is One Better Than The Others
Health experts say being vaccinated can be the difference between getting COVID and being hospitalized or dying from COVID, but beyond that, symptoms can also vary depending on your vaccine.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last month that data showed both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were performing better than Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at preventing breakthrough infections, but all three protect against hospitalization and death.
“The CDC has changed its guidance to recommend as the first choice either Pfizer or Moderna,” Arwady said. “I want to reassure people that the J& J vaccine continues to do a good job of protecting against those severe illnesses, but we are seeing more breakthroughs.”
Last month, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Vaccine Practices on Thursday unanimously recommended Pfizer and BioNTech’s or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, which use mRNA technology that hasn’t been linked to the blood clots, over J& J’s, which uses a more traditional virus-based technology. The CDC confirmed 54 cases of mostly younger women who developed blood clots with low blood platelet levels a new condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS after receiving J& J’s shots. Of those cases, 36 required treatment in intensive care.
The panel’s presentation of the data showed the greatest rick of TTS is among females 30 to 49 years of age.
In the unvaccinated, however, the symptoms were more severe.
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Why The Recommendations Changed
Both the CDC and AAP say safety data and a need to catch up children and teens on missed vaccinations played a role.
“The AAP supports giving other childhood and adolescent immunizations at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for children and teens who are behind on their immunizations, the AAPs statement reads. Between the substantial data collected on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and the extensive experience with non-COVID-19 vaccines which shows the immune response and side effects are generally similar when vaccines are given together as when they are administered alone, the benefits of co-administration and timely catch up on vaccinations outweigh any theoretical risk.
Woodworth also said that updated co-administration recommendations may facilitate catch up vaccination of adolescents. She cited data that showed the administration of many other vaccines has declined during the pandemic.
Specifically, vaccine orders from providers were down 11.7 million doses as of May 2, 2021 when compared with 2019. The gap was largest in vaccines usually given to teens, including:
- The Tdap vaccine
- HPV vaccine
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
Factors That Can Affect Immunity
There are different factors that can affect your immune response to a vaccine. Some examples include:
Age: Very young children and older adults may have a decreased response to vaccines.
Genetics: Your genes may influence how you respond to certain vaccines.
Vaccine type: Some vaccines dont provide as much immunity as others, so booster shots may be needed.
Health conditions: Certain conditions, like celiac disease and diabetes, may lower your response to vaccines.
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How Well Do The Covid
Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects . The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.
Research has shown the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protect against COVID-19 variants
The 1st dose should give you some protection from 3 or 4 weeks after you’ve had it. But you need 2 doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it’s important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.
Im An Adult With Covid And Have Had To Postpone My Booster Appointment So When Can I Get It
The current ATAGI advice is that you can have your booster once you have recovered from the acute infection.
But based on vaccinology principles, it would be reasonable to consider waiting at least three months after youre well to get your booster dose. A COVID infection stimulates the immune system like a vaccine, meaning you will produce antibodies that help increase your protection against COVID.
Vaccination can also be deferred for up to six months if preferred, as past infection does reduce the chance of reinfection for at least this amount of time, but there is still much we dont know about the Omicron variant.
Currently, the booster dose is recommended four months after the primary course of two doses .
By end of January, that will be changed to three months.
With Omicron, the duration of protection from natural immunity is unclear. So you should still get your booster shot and make sure you end up getting the required number of doses.
Thats because we cant exactly quantify to what extent COVID infection stimulates your immune system.
Peoples bodies respond differently to infection depending on age, underlying medical risk factors, the particular strain theyre infected with and a range of other factors.
Thats why, even if you get COVID, we still recommend vaccination and the required number of doses to ensure you get the best long-lasting protection.
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How Long Should I Quarantine After Ive Been Exposed To The Coronavirus
The CDC says that if you might have come into contact with the virus and have no symptoms, you should self-monitor. This means watching for signs such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Stay out of crowded places, keep at least 6 feet away from other people, and wear a cloth face mask when you have to go out.
If you traveled recently or know that you came into contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should self-quarantine if you are:
- Fully vaccinated with possible COVID symptoms
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated
Stay home for 14 days. Its very rare for symptoms to show up after that much time. Check your temperature twice a day, and watch for other symptoms. Stay away from other people, especially those who are at high risk of serious illness because of their age or another medical condition.
If staying home for 14 days creates a hardship, the CDC advises you may be able to leave quarantine:
- After day 10 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result
Still, after you leave quarantine, you should continue to monitor yourself for any symptoms.
If I Get Sick With Covid
It varies. Most people with mild cases appear to recover within one to two weeks. However, recent surveys conducted by the CDC found that recovery may take longer than previously thought, even for adults with milder cases who do not require hospitalization. The CDC survey found that one-third of these adults had not returned to normal health within two to three weeks of testing positive for COVID-19. Among younger adults who did not require hospitalization and who did not have any underlying health conditions, nearly one in five had not returned to normal health within two to three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. With severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more.
Some people may experience longer-term physical, cognitive, and psychological problems. Their symptoms may alternately improve and worsen over time, and can include a variety of difficulties, from fatigue and trouble concentrating to anxiety, muscle weakness, and continuing shortness of breath.
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Do I Have To Get A Covid
While there is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, all eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. In addition to protecting each recipient against infection, it is essential that a large enough percent of the population receives the vaccine in order to achieve herd immunity to prevent continued spread of the virus causing COVID-19. We must each play our part in this process, as we have in the past with vaccines to eliminate the threat of polio, measles and other viral infections.
Im Vaccinated But Got A Breakthrough Covid Infection Can I Still Spread The Infection To Others
Yes, someone with a breakthrough COVID infection can transmit the infection to others. But a paper published in NEJM suggests that people with breakthrough infections are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people who are infected. Thats because people who have been vaccinated shed the virus for shorter periods of time.
The researchers analyzed viral samples from 173 men who were part of the National Basketball Associations occupational health program. The samples had been collected between November 2020 and August 2021. The men in this study were generally young and healthy. Of the study participants, 37 were vaccinated and 136 were unvaccinated. Over the study period, 113 participants were infected with SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Alpha and Delta.
An analysis of the viral samples revealed that the amount of virus produced, even at the peak of infection, was similar regardless of which variant the participant was infected with. Viral load also did not vary much by vaccination status.
However, participants with breakthrough infections cleared their infections more quickly in an average of 5.5 days, compared to 7.5 days than people who were unvaccinated. Faster clearance translates to a shorter period of contagiousness, reducing the opportunity for someone with a breakthrough infection to spread the virus.
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What Is Serologic Testing For Covid
A serologic test is a blood test that looks for antibodies created by your immune system. There are many reasons you might make antibodies, the most important of which is to help fight infections. The serologic test for COVID-19 specifically looks for antibodies against the COVID-19 virus.
Your body takes one to three weeks after you have acquired the infection to develop antibodies to this virus. For this reason, serologic tests are not sensitive enough to accurately diagnose an active COVID-19 infection, even in people with symptoms.
However, serologic tests can help identify anyone who has recovered from coronavirus. This may include people who were not initially identified as having COVID-19 because they had no symptoms, had mild symptoms, chose not to get tested, had a false-negative test, or could not get tested for any reason. Serologic tests will provide a more accurate picture of how many people have been infected with, and recovered from, coronavirus, as well as the true fatality rate.
Serologic tests may also provide information about whether people become immune to coronavirus once they’ve recovered and, if so, how long that immunity lasts.
The accuracy of serologic tests varies depending on the test and when in the course of infection the test is performed.
What’s The Difference Between Self
Self-isolation is voluntary isolation at home by those who have or are likely to have COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms of the disease . The purpose of self-isolation is to prevent spread of infection from an infected person to others who are not infected. If possible, the decision to isolate should be based on physician recommendation. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate.
You should strongly consider self-isolation if you
- have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results
- have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 , whether or not you have been tested.
You may also consider self-isolation if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but have not had known exposure to the new coronavirus and have not been tested for it. In this case, it may be reasonable to isolate yourself for a minimum of 10 days from when you begin to experience symptoms.
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How Long Does Immunity Last After Covid
- For people who recover from COVID-19, immunity to the coronavirus can last about 3 months to 5 years, research shows.
- Immunity can occur naturally after developing COVID-19 or from getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
- Because the length of immunity after developing COVID-19 or getting the vaccine is unknown, practicing physical distancing and wearing a mask need to continue to stop the spread.
Whether youve recovered from COVID-19, received the vaccine, or neither, understanding immunity and how long it lasts can help give you important insight into how you can interact safely with others during the pandemic.
First, it helps to know what immunity means.
There are two types of immunity: natural and vaccine-induced.
After a person acquires a virus, the immune system retains a memory of it.
The explains, Immune cells and proteins that circulate in the body can recognize and kill the pathogen if its encountered again, protecting against disease and reducing illness severity.
The components of immunity protection include:
- Antibodies are proteins that circulate in the blood and recognize foreign substances like viruses and neutralize them.
- Helper T cells help to recognize pathogens.
- Killer T cells kill pathogens.
- B cells make new antibodies when the body needs them.
People who recover from COVID-19 have been found to have all four of these components. However, specifics about what this means for the immune response and how long immunity lasts are not clear.
When Can I Start Exercising Again
Exercise is an important part of recovering from COVID-19. If your symptoms were mild, you can start exercising again if:
- youve had 10 days of rest since symptoms started
- youve had at least 7 days with no symptoms, and
- youre no longer taking any medications such as paracetamol
Start with 15 minutes of light activity like walking or cycling, and see how you feel. Continue to slowly increase the duration and intensity of your exercise, paying careful attention to your heart rate and breathing rate.
Stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider if you have any:
- chest pain or palpitations. If you experience severe central crushing chest pain lasting more than 10 minutes call 000
- unexpected breathlessness
- signs of blood clotting, such as swollen calves
If youre recovering from moderate or severe illness, speak with your healthcare provider before returning to exercise.
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How Reliable Are The Tests For Covid
Two types of diagnostic tests are currently available in the US. PCR tests detect viral RNA. Antigen tests, also called rapid diagnostic tests, detect specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. Antigen test results may come back in as little as 15 to 45 minutes you may wait several days or longer for PCR test results.
The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly. For PCR tests, which are typically analyzed in a laboratory, test results may be affected by the conditions in which the test was shipped to the laboratory.
Results may also be affected by the timing of the test. For example, if you are tested on the day you were infected, your test result is almost guaranteed to come back negative, because there are not yet enough viral particles in your nose or saliva to detect. The chance of getting a false negative test result decreases if you are tested a few days after you were infected, or a few days after you develop symptoms.
Generally speaking, if a test result comes back positive, it is almost certain that the person is infected.
A negative test result is less definite. There is a higher chance of false negatives with antigen tests. If you have a negative result on an antigen test, your doctor may order a PCR test to confirm the result.
For How Long After I Am Infected Will I Continue To Be Contagious At What Point In My Illness Will I Be Most Contagious
People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness, when they are beginning to experience symptoms, especially if they are coughing and sneezing. But people with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to other people. In fact, people who are infected may be more likely to spread the illness if they are asymptomatic, or in the days before they develop symptoms, because they are less likely to be isolating or adopting behaviors designed to prevent spread.
A full, 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. However, according to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.
If you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone with or suspected of having COVID-19 you do not need to quarantine. However, as of July 2021, the CDC recommends that you be tested thre to five days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.
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