Health officials encourage COVID-19 vaccine for those who have recovered from the virus

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “It’s important for everybody to get vaccinated regardless of whether you’ve had an infection with COVID before in the past.”

That’s according to Texas Experts Vaccine Allocation Panel member Dr. Gerald Parker.

“There’s no doubt that if you have been infected and had COVID, you’re going to have some level of immunity,” Parker explained, “how long that immunity lasts, we’re not sure.”

He joined First News at Four to urge those that have already had the virus and recovered to get the vaccine.

“Even if you’ve had a previous experience with COVID-19, infection with COVID-19, the vaccine is safe,” Parker said.

He explained that all the data from vaccine manufacturers suggests that vaccine provides immunity that just recovering from the virus alone can’t. Parker says the near 95 percent efficacy in the Pfizer vaccine is extraordinarily good and that emerging data from the other three manufacturers looks similarly promising. He said the vaccine just adds additional protection for you and those around you.

If you’ve already experienced COVID-19 And, and you’ve recovered, that first dose is almost like getting a booster [shot],” Parker explained.

The CDC originally recommended that you wait at least 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 before getting the vaccine. Parker explained that new guidance suggests anyone is safe to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are no longer infectious. He said it’s ok to wait if you’re still worried that you might be infectious but added that you shouldn’t wait more than 90 days at the maximum.

If you’re a “long-hauler,” someone who remains symptomatic for an extended period of time, Parker said you should consult your doctor about when you should go get vaccinated. If you become infected from COVID-19 after getting your first shot but before getting your second, Parker advised that you should still get your second shot.

“You’re going to delay that second dose until you fully recovered from COVID-19,” Parker said, “you just need to be healthy.”

In just about any scenario, Parker explained that if you’re healthy enough to get the vaccine, then you need to do so as soon as possible.

“It’s very important that everybody get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Parker said, “that’s going to be the best way for all of us to be as safe as possible and protect us, yourself, and your family, and beat this pandemic.”

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