The COVID-19 vaccine is protecting millions of Americans and helping us get safely back to many of the activities we love. But several myths about the vaccine persist; knowing all the facts about how the vaccine affects the COVID-19 virus can help you make an informed decision -- and help educate friends and family to do the same.
Yes, you should still get the vaccine even if you’ve already had COVID-19. While getting COVID-19 causes you to build natural immunity, offering some level of protection, disease experts don’t know how long that protection lasts. Current studies show that reinfection may be uncommon in the months following initial infection, but may increase over time. Whether you’ve had the virus or not, the vaccine provides full protection from severe illness and death related to COVID-19 -- mitigating the potential risks of letting your immune system do the job alone.
We’re still continuing to learn about COVID-19, but the CDC states that vaccines should work against new variants, adding some additional protection that you wouldn’t get from the strain that originally infected you. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. (source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html)
However, there is an exception: you should wait 90 days to get vaccinated if you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. If you’re unsure about what treatments you received for COVID-19, talk to your doctor.