If You Have A Breakthrough Infection You Should Still Get A Booster
First, its important to know that there simply isnt much data on this particular question yet. For one, the CDC is only tracking breakthrough infections that end in hospitalization or death, which are extremely rare. So we dont even necessarily have a clear picture of mild breakthrough cases.
But the general consensus is that people who are fully vaccinated and have a breakthrough infection should still get boosted if theyre in an eligible category.
We know their initial immunity maybe didnt hold up, or didnt hold up as well, and we know there is a drop-off even after they get an infection, so we would still recommend a booster, Gendlina said.
The timing, however, is not clear-cut. Gendlina said people are probably protected for about 90 days after an infection, but theyre technically eligible before then. And she said it may be safest to just go ahead and get your booster dose as soon as your symptoms have cleared up and you meet the criteria for ending isolation.
But again, at this point, there is no data, added William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
We cant tell you what the optimal or necessary time is, he added. If you ask me, just as a clinician, I would wait a couple of months.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Answers To More Questions About:
CDC does not keep vaccination records or determine how vaccination records are used. To update your records with vaccines you received while outside of the United States, you may:
- Contact the immunization information system in your state. You can find state IIS information on the CDC website.
- Contact your healthcare provider or your local or state immunization program through your states health department.
The CDC-labeled white COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards are only issued to people vaccinated in the United States. CDC recommends you keep your documentation of being vaccinated in the other country as proof of vaccination. CDC also recommends checking with your primary care provider or state health department for options to document your vaccination status domestically.
If you have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization , then you are considered to be fully vaccinated. This currently includes the following vaccines:
Visit the clinical considerations webpage for more information.
While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps were taken to make sure they are safe and effective:
Learn more about developing COVID-19 vaccines.
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:
If You Recently Had Covid
Having tested positive for COVID-19 can bring up some confusing questions about whether or not you should get the vaccine. The COVID vaccine not only protects a person from contracting the virus, but it also prevents the spread of COVID-19 to other people, especially those that are most at risk of contracting it.
To help clear up whether you should get the shot if you contracted the COVID-19 here are some answers to the concerns most people have about the vaccine and the virus.
I Had COVID-19, Do I Need The Vaccine?
While it may be tempting to consider yourself protected from the virus because you believe your body has built up antibodies from being infected with the virus, the production of antibodies after COVID-19 illnesses is really unclear. Studies are still underway to determine how long antibodies last in a persons body and how well they protect against the virus.
There have also been a number of well-documented cases of people that have contracted COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus more than once, as it is possible to get the coronavirus multiple times.
According to Yale University, if these antibodies are protective, it is still unknown what levels are needed to protect against reinfection. In short, the university recommends that even those that have previously had COVID-19 can and should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I Still Get The Vaccine If I Just Had COVID-19?
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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.
Delta For Dummies: Explaining Sas Latest Covid Variant
In fact, even if you have been vaccinated, you can still get infected with SARS-CoV-2 but the big difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people is that those who got a jab are significantly less likely to fall seriously ill with COVID or die from it.
But, some scientists ask, should you get both jabs of a two-dose vaccine if youve already had COVID or can your bodys natural immune response replace one of those jabs?
Researchers are still trying to figure this out. Some studies show that people with previous exposure to COVID produce potent immune responses after single shots and gain little more benefit from a second jab.
As a result, countries such as Italy, Germany and France now recommend only one jab of a two-dose vaccine for previously infected people who have healthy immune systems. In that way, they manage to stretch vaccine supplies.
But the journal Nature reports that scientists still dont know whether one-jab programmes could leave some individuals with suboptimal protection. Nor is it clear that such programmes would be effective for all types of vaccine.
Nature also cautions that some people, such as those who dont develop COVID symptoms, often mount a relatively weak immune response, and they may benefit from both doses of a two-shot vaccine.
But can you get vaccinated against COVID while you have COVID, or should you first wait until you have recovered?
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Should I Hold Off Getting A Covid Vaccine To See If There Is New Research On Natural Immunity
Holding off on getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not a good idea. Heres why:
For the reasons above, the CDC recommends and Johns Hopkins Medicine agrees that all eligible people get vaccinated with any of the three FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines, including those who have already had COVID-19.
Will I Need To Provide Insurance Information To Register For The Vaccine
Yes. However, the vaccines are free from the federal government, but there is a fee to cover the supplies and people needed to administer them. This amount will not be charged to patients. For those with insurance, this will be billed to their plan, but it will not result in an out-of-pocket charge. When patients are uninsured, we will submit that claim to a federal program for reimbursement. In either case, patients will not have a cost for their vaccine.
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Are There Drawbacks To Getting A Second Booster
Maybe. The vaccines are overwhelmingly safe, so getting an extra dose is not dangerous. But there still may be disadvantages.
For example, each dose may induce side effects like fever, headache, fatigue and joint aches which, when you get older, arent always trivial, Dr. Offit noted.
Repeated boosting also offers diminishing results. Dr. Peppers team has evidence suggesting that a fourth exposure to the virus whether through infection or the vaccine will not make immunity any stronger than it is after the third.
There is also some worry that repeatedly boosting with the original version of the vaccine will make the body less responsive to future versions. When youre boosting with the same strain versus different strains, youre not getting the bang for the buck, Dr. Omer said.
And there is some evidence that spacing vaccine doses farther apart, perhaps once a year, may produce a stronger, more long-lasting immune response. If thats true, it would argue against frequent boosters.
What Is Natural Immunity To Covid
When you get the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, your immune system creates search and destroy antibodies that can recognize the virus and better resist it next time.
Natural infection with COVID-19 does induce some antibody, but the level of antibody seems to be below that which is necessary to keep you from getting reinfection, says Don Middleton, MD, vice president of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Although uncommon, we do know that coronavirus reinfection is possible.
These natural COVID-19 antibodies dont stick around forever and doctors arent sure how long they will protect you.
One major gap in knowledge with respect to COVID-19 is how long immunity lasts after infection, says Michael Chang, MD, an assistant professor of pediatric infectious disease at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. There have been some mixed reports about how long immunity lasts, but it depends on how the various publications are measuring immunity. Mixed results anywhere from weeks to months have been reported for detectable antibody levels, he says.
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Anything Else I Need To Know
I think it’s worth highlighting an update to the CDC guidelines stating people are most infectious in the 1-2 days before they develop symptoms and 2-3 days after.
So the clear guidance is to adhere to the rules and isolate as a positive case or a close contact for seven days, but please check the guidelines in your state or territory.
I know there’s so much changing advice on that for example in relation to critical workers but the best advice is to stay isolated for five days if you’re a positive case or a close contact.
Margie Danchin is a paediatrician at the Royal Childrens Hospital and Associate Professor and Clinician Scientist, University of Melbourne and MCRI, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. This piece first appeared on The Conversation.
Why Is Vaccine Immunity Better Than Natural Immunity
The COVID-19 vaccine could provide greater protection than the natural immunity triggered by infection with the virus itself.
Both of the current vaccines produce antibody levels that are higher than the level that follows natural infection, and higher than that necessary to protect you from getting further infections, Dr. Middleton says.
Plus, COVID-19 vaccine immunity may last longer than natural immunity.
The experts feel that vaccination offers a more guaranteed antibody production to prevent further re-infection for a longer period of timehopefully, a year or twoinstead of several months, Dr. Degelsmith says. The data is not out there yet because were only 10 or 12 months into this virus, and less time understanding how it survives in the body, so I believe that a lot of information will be coming in the next six months to answer some of these questions, he says.
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Why Should You Not Get Vaccinated Against Covid When You Have Covid
Salim Abdool Karim: COVID-19 has four stages. Firstly, there is the initial infection, which is part of the incubation period. Secondly, you have the clinical symptoms stage, during which you will test positive . You then have the recovery stage during which your antibody levels rise. And in some individuals, we have a fourth phase, which is long COVID.
During the acute phases of COVID these are the first two phases the SARS-CoV-2 virus is already replicating, so its making copies of itself and stimulating your bodys immune response. Youd want to avoid getting a COVID vaccine during that time, because if you do, youre giving the body two sets of signals. Youre giving it the virus thats replicating as an immune signal to respond to and youre also giving it the vaccine.
We therefore strongly recommend that people who are testing positive for COVID, and who are within a period after their first diagnosis, wait for about 30 days before getting vaccinated after their diagnosis. But as soon as possible thereafter, please go and get vaccinated because the vaccine is safe thereafter.
Should You Wait To Get Vaccinated If You Just Had Covid
Timing is everything here, so it really depends on how long ago you had the virus.
The current recommendation is to wait at least 14 days after a positive test before seeking vaccination, Dr. Chang says. This recommendation is primarily to ensure that people who could still be contagious are not going to vaccination sites and potentially spreading the disease.
This goes for health care workers too, which is why Dr. Degelsmith made sure he was done with his COVID-19 quarantine before getting his second vaccine dose. If, like him, you come down with COVID in between shots, its recommended you complete the shots as scheduled, as long as you are out of isolation.
If you are just recovered from COVID-19 and havent had your first shot yet, the CDC notes its fine, but not required, to wait a few months to let others with no natural protection go first.
It is OK to wait 90 days after infection if desired because one will likely have immunity for that time period anyway after infection, Dr. Degelsmith says.
Dr. Chang agrees, but urges caution. As it appears there is some immunity, i.e. less risk of reinfections, in the first few months following natural infection, in the setting of low supply, people with recent infection may choose to temporarily delay vaccination, he says. However, again with no clear cutoff for when natural immunity wears off, its difficult to know exactly when the right time is, he says.
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No One Should Get The J& j Vaccine Right Now As You Have Likely Heard
“CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine in the United States out of an abundance of caution, effective Tuesday, April 13,” said the CDC this week. “People who have received theJ& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccinewithin the past three weeks who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should seek medical care right away.”
What You Need To Know About ‘natural Immunity’
When someone is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, their immune system creates antibodies, which are proteins that fight off infections and help prevent future infections from occurring. That is called “natural immunity.”
At this stage, there are still lots of questions about how long natural immunity from Covid lasts and whether it could prevent reinfection, Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease physician at the University of North Carolina, tells CNBC Make It.
Studies on people who were exposed to Covid and then recovered have shown that their antibodies remained pretty stable, and only dropped “modestly” after six or eight months. Another promising outcome: coronavirus-specific B and T cells also appear to increase and remain high after infection.
New research that hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet found that people who have already had Covid tend to have higher antibody responses after their first dose of the mRNA vaccines than two doses of the vaccine in people who haven’t had it. Some immunologists argue that people who’ve recovered from Covid should only need one dose of a vaccine.
“If you’ve had Covid-19, may augment or help increase the durability, and even maybe the breadth, of your immune response against coronavirus,” Wohl says.
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Should I Get Vaccinated If Ive Already Had Covid
Our findings show that COVID-19 infection before double vaccination provides much greater protection, which supports the call for everyone to get vaccinated even if theyâve already had COVID.
Reassuringly, those who were infected in the first wave back in Spring 2020, we also found that the protection from a previous COVID-19 infection didnât wane, up to 450 days after the infection, independent of whether the person was vaccinated or not.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, says: âRegardless of which vaccine is administered, this latest research shows that having a natural COVID-19 infection before being fully vaccinated does mean greater protection. This is really positive news for overall immunity levels in the UK, and means that large numbers of people will have effective and long lasting protection from COVID-19.â