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If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

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Even if you have already had COVID-19 (whether you had symptoms or not), you should still get vaccinated for COVID for several reasons.

  • We don’t know how long immunity will last.  Although rare, there are a some reports of people getting reinfected with COVID, indicating that natural immunity wanes with time.  Getting vaccinated will boost your immunity further.
  • The mRNA COVID vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing COVID disease, and even if you do catch it again, you are much less likely to have severe symptoms or need to be admitted to the hospital.
  • Despite several new virus variants circulating, most early studies show that the vaccine still provides protection.  It may also reduce the severity of disease in the case of reinfection with one of these variants. 

When should I get vaccinated once I am eligible?

  • Be sure you are fully recovered from your COVID infection and no longer in isolation.
  • Given our limited current vaccine supply, and your natural immunity following COVID infection, you may wish to wait up to 90 days to be vaccinated so that others at higher risk may get their vaccine sooner.

Sky Pittson, MD,  February 3, 2021