Should You Still Get Vaccinated If You Already Had COVID-19?

John Whyte, MD

Disclosures

August 19, 2021

Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

So what do you do? If you've got COVID, do you still need to get vaccinated? The answer is yes. And here's why.

If you had COVID in the past, you do have some protection. There's natural immunity. And a lot of people are talking about it.

The problem is, it's very variable. And by that, I mean you could have had a mild case of COVID and may not have developed many antibodies. Or you might have got it early on, before the Delta variant existed. And you may not have protection against that variant.

What we do know with the vaccines, is they give a much more durable and stronger response. What do I mean by that? It means the response is creating more antibodies than if you just got COVID and developed antibodies and protection. They also last longer, probably at least 6 months, whereas natural immunity, when you get it from COVID -- that could just be a couple of months.

And the other big thing that we've learned in the last week or so is that those persons who got COVID and didn't get vaccinated are more than twice as likely to get reinfected. That's the real concern. So if you've already had COVID, you still need to get fully vaccinated so you have the best protection.

This video originally appeared on WebMD on August 19, 2021

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