People Whove Suffered From Covid
COVID-19 vaccines are on the move, getting into more and more arms with each passing day. Vaccines have been one of the best developments of 2021, offering light at the end of the tunnel that has been this whole pandemic. While eligibility is being granted to more people every week, those whove had COVID-19 are more likely to stop for a bit and think about the effects that the vaccine could have on their bodies.
COVID-19 is a strange virus, affecting people in widely different ways. While some experienced the illness and made a full recovery, many are still coping with long term side effects. Should people who had COVID-19 still get their shot? Heres what you should know:
I Have Had Covid Why Should I Get Vaccinated
UABs Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., explains the importance of getting vaccinated after having COVID, which vaccine to get and when to get it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 36 million cases of COVID-19 reported in the United States.
Those who have had COVID-19 may be wondering whether they should get vaccinated. The University of Alabama at Birminghams Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, explains why those people who had COVID-19 should get vaccinated, which vaccine to get and how long to wait before getting the vaccine.
Q: If I have had COVID, should I still get vaccinated?
A: Absolutely. Even before vaccines were available, we were seeing not a small number of reinfections in young people who had previously been infected.
We are not surprised by this because, when you get COVID-19, your body does make antibodies but those antibodies are not enough to keep you safe in the long run.
Remember, COVID-19 is a common cold virus that has gone crazy, and you know you are not immune to the common cold, unfortunately. So, if you have had COVID-19, you are vulnerable to getting it again, and getting the Delta strain.
Q: Which vaccine should I get?
They are all working well against the Delta variant, which is the one we are most worried about.
What Immunity Did Having Covid
A health care worker fills a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
This is one of a series of articles in which reporters from WHYYs Health Desk Help Desk answer questions about vaccines and COVID-19 submitted by you, our audience.
After getting a fever, Margaret Grafenstine tested positive for the coronavirus in November, then developed a cough, a sore throat, and a slight numbness in her hands.
Grafenstine, 58, who lives in Trevose, Bucks County, said it took about two weeks for her to feel like herself again.
A test later confirmed Grafenstine had a robust antibody response to the infection and she even donated convalescent plasma. Now, shes trying to decide whether to get vaccinated.
If a person has already tested positive for COVID, why are the antibodies in that persons system from actually having the virus not good enough? she asked WHYYs Health Desk Help Desk. I just dont understand why its necessary I have a bit of a fear with the vaccine, just as I do with the virus, truthfully.
Many other WHYY listeners and readers including people who have never had COVID-19 submitted questions asking whether people who have had infections develop a robust enough immune response to avoid getting vaccinated.
Heres what the experts are saying, as the delta variant of the virus boosts case numbers in the region and nationwide.
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Experts Say Get Vaccinated
Doctors say the latest data reinforces the fact that people who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated against the virus.
As the time from infection increases, the risk of COVID-19 reinfection increases, Amesh A. Adalja, MD, infectious disease expert and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Verywell.
Adalja said that natural immunity does provide significant protection, but its not fully clear what its nature may be.
The CDC study focused on people who were hospitalized with the virus but the findings may not be applicable to those who arent hospitalized, he added.
Its really important to understand what happens to those who are not hospitalized and how they fare with reinfections,” he said. “Does infection confer protection against future hospitalization and how does that compare against the unvaccinated and vaccinated?
The latest study didnt include people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and experts said its unclear if those vaccine recipients would have as much of an edge over those who had natural infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a more traditional vaccine and likely would not have been as immunogenic as the mRNA vaccines if studied head-to-head, Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, told Verywell.
Russo urged people who have had COVID-19 to not rely on natural immunity alone for protection.
Can I Still Get Covid
Yes, you can still get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine. In fact, were sometimes seeing people pop up with reinfections. In the majority of cases, these are people who are being screened asymptomatically and just happen to be positive for the virus, or who show mild symptoms of the virus. The vaccine is intended to prevent severe infections and hospitalizations and its doing an excellent job!
We can predict who might not have the best immune response to the vaccine these are usually people who have other health conditions affecting the strength of their immune system, such as organ transplants or cancer. These people are likely to have already been taking precautions to prevent illness even before the pandemic and will most benefit from continuing to follow other guidance on preventing COVID-19 even after their vaccination, such as mask wearing and social distancing.
We also think that the amount of virus a person is exposed to can influence the severity of infection. So even as masking guidance changes and people start gathering in larger crowds again, individuals should be aware of their own comfort levels and remember that even after vaccination, there is still some risk of possible infection.
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Vaccine Safety & Side Effects
Check out Immunize Alberta for Common Questions about Vaccine Safety.
Q: What goes into making sure vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are safe and effective?
A: Canada is recognized around the world for high standards for vaccine review, approvals, and monitoring systems. Only vaccines that are safe and effective will be approved for use in Canada. After a vaccine is approved for use, evidence on safety and effectiveness is reviewed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization who provide recommendations on immunizations for individuals and for public health programs.
Q: Have there been any adverse events following immunization with the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada , the provinces and territories, and manufacturers continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and respond to any safety issues that arise.
Provincially the Government of Alberta has the most up-to-date figures on adverse events following immunization with the COVID-19 vaccine. A weekly report on side effects following COVID-19 vaccination in Canada, is available from the Government of Canada.
The benefits of vaccines authorized in Canada continue to outweigh the risks. All eligible Albertans born in 2009 or before are encouraged to get immunized as soon as possible.
Q: I am experiencing side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, what do I do?
Q: What should I know about myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccinationes?
Do I Need A Vaccine If Ive Already Had Covid
May 25, 2021
On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control announced that in most cases, vaccinated adults in the U.S. could start going without masks, even indoors a long-awaited benchmark to signal a return to a more normal life. But many people still have lingering questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and whether or not theyre needed, especially if youve already had COVID-19. As an infectious diseases expert and someone who contracted COVID-19 myself, Im here to share my insights.
Im young and healthy and I havent caught COVID yet. Do I need to get a vaccine?
Yes, absolutely. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is still circulating in our communities, and we havent reached herd-immunity levels of vaccination yet. Even if you are young and dont have any underlying health conditions that would put you at extra risk, the way individual people respond to COVID-19 is unpredictable thats part of what makes it so dangerous. In almost every case, I would recommend getting vaccinated. It protects not only you, but also those who are close to you and the people you love. If you dont want to get it for your own protection, get it for them.
Do I still need the vaccine if Ive already had COVID-19?
On top of that, if you live with people who are at higher risk of severe infection or may not develop a strong antibody level after vaccination, getting your own COVID-19 vaccination may make it less likely that you will transmit the virus to them.
Im still nervous!
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Do You Need A Booster If You Had Covid And Got The Vaccine
After a lot of back and forth about whos eligible for booster shots in the United States right now, health officials finally seem to have settled on a pretty clear and comprehensive list.
Youre eligible if you got either of the two mRNA vaccines and youre 65 or older, or live in a long-term care setting, or have certain underlying health conditions, or work in a high-risk setting. You can only receive it if its been six months since your last dose.
If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, youre eligible for a booster if youre 18 or older and its been two months since your initial dose.
But what about people who got vaccinated and also have natural immunity because theyve had COVID-19? According to studies, cases like these may provide the highest degree of protection against severe illness. Should they still get a booster? And when? Heres what we know now:
Does Age Matter For Vaccinations
Pfizer’s vaccine is also currently the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children as young as 5. Both Moderna and J& J’s vaccines can only be used on people 18 and older.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have also started studies in the U.S. surrounding the vaccine and children as young as 6 months.
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What About If Youre Asymptomatic And You Still Have The Vaccine
Its thought roughly one in three people are carrying the virus but dont necessarily know it as they dont display any symptoms. If you happen to be asymptomatic or incubating Covid-19 when you have the vaccine, PHE says it is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on the illness.
Theres currently no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating individuals with a past history of Covid-19 infection, or with detectable antibodies.
Experts are still learning about Covid-19. The information in this story is what was known or available at the time of publication, but guidance could change as scientists discover more about the virus.To keep up to date with health advice and cases in your area, visit gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk.
Booking Your 2nd Dose
You’ll usually need to book a 2nd dose for 8 to 12 weeks after your 1st dose.
- If you book online, you’ll be asked to book appointments for both doses. You can manage your COVID-19 vaccination appointments to view your appointments and rebook if you need to.
- If you’re 18 or over and have your 1st dose at a walk-in vaccination site, you can book your 2nd COVID-19 vaccination appointment online. You’ll need to wait 24 hours after your 1st dose before you can book.
- If you have your 1st dose through your GP surgery, you’ll be contacted when it’s time to book your 2nd dose.
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Side Effects And Safety
The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
They can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.
Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
- a sore arm from the injection
- feeling tired
You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you’re aged 16 or over and:
- you’re pregnant or think you might be
- you’re breastfeeding
- you’re trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
The vaccines you’ll be offered depends if you’re pregnant and how old you are. The vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.
How Effective Are The Covid Vaccines
Vaccine efficacy has been a main question as both the omicron and delta variants continue to spread around the country and the globe.
Health experts have said that a majority of hospitalizations and deaths associated with the delta variant in recent months have largely been in unvaccinated individuals. The CDC has said the risk of infection is 8x higher in the unvaccinated than the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization or death is 25x higher.
But is one better than the other at protecting against breakthrough infections in vaccinated populations?
“No vaccine is perfect, for one thing,” said Dr. Egon Ozer, who works in infectious diseases at Northwestern Medicine. “No vaccine is going to be a magic bullet. So, especially with so much virus thats still circulating, theres always potential that theres going to be some breakthrough, that people are still going to be able to get some degree of the virus. Thats certainly been the case with delta, as well.
Scientists don’t yet know how big a threat the omicron variant really is or if it will affect protection given from current vaccines. Currently the extra-contagious delta variant is responsible for most of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and other countries.
In Chicago and multiple Midwestern states, early cases of the omicron variant have appeared in fully vaccinated residents, some of whom also received booster doses, though symptoms have so far remained mild.
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When To Get The Covid Vaccine After Being Sick
If your COVID case was recent, however, you should sit tight. âIn general, we are recommending that after a diagnosis of COVID, people wait 90 to 120 days before getting the vaccine,â she says.
Waiting serves two purposes, Dr. Teresa Bartlett M.D., senior medical officer at claims management company Sedgwick, tells Bustle. âFirst, you have some antibodies in your system for a period of three to six months,â she says. That means the vaccine might not actually be necessary yet, and other people should be prioritized in the vaccine queue. After that period, though, your natural antibodies will have faded, and the vaccines are designed to produce more robust, lasting immune protection over time.
Dr. Bartlett says sheâs also seen people whoâve had recent COVID have a reaction to the vaccine if taken too soon. The ZOE COVID Symptom Study found that people whoâd had COVID previously were nearly twice as likely to experience mild reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, compared to people whoâd never tested positive for COVID. âThis is because many have already mounted an immune response, so they are primed to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that the mRNA instructs our cells to make,â Dr. Natasha Bhuyan M.D., regional medical director for One Medical, tells Bustle. Waiting a few months after your COVID has subsided means your immune system will calm down and be less likely to respond so vigorously to vaccines.
How Long Protection Lasts
We do not yet know how long the protection from COVID-19 vaccines will last. Ongoing research around the world is evaluating:
- how long protection lasts
- whether you will need booster doses, such as an annual booster.
ATAGI is assessing the evidence for booster doses and will issue more detailed advice by the end of October 2021.
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Covid Vaccine Waning Immunity: How Worried Should I Be
There have been warnings from doctors and the UK’s Health Security Agency that waning immunity is leading to deaths even of people who have had two doses of a Covid vaccine. So how much protection are we left with?
Let’s nail some basics. The immune system has two big roles – to stop us getting infected, and if that fails, to clear our bodies of an infection.
I want you to stretch your imagination and picture your immune system as a medieval castle.
Surrounding the castle is a hostile and ruthless army of coronaviruses desperate to break in.
Your first defence is an outer wall patrolled by a legion of archers. These are your body’s neutralising antibodies. If they can hold the viral army off, then you won’t get infected.
But if the walls crumble and the antibody-archers wander off, then the virus is in. It has stormed the castle and you now have an infection.
Yet all is not lost. There are still troops inside the fortified keep at the heart of the castle. These are your memory B and memory T cells. Like knights on horseback they can rally the troops, lead the immunological charge and send the hostile invaders packing.
The Covid vaccines have been training your body’s troops – this includes both antibodies and those memory cells that react to an infection – to take on coronavirus.
At least one of those defenders is waning and this is not a surprise. This happens after every vaccine or infection.