24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
How Moving the Homeless to Hotels During the Pandemic Helps EveryoneA Vaccine Against UTIs? New Mouse Study Brings Shot CloserOpioid Use (and Overuse) for Knee Arthritis Takes Big Financial TollFormaldehyde in Hair Straighteners Prompts FDA WarningIt's Too Soon to Lift COVID Restrictions: FauciWith 3 COVID Vaccines Approved, Is There a 'Best' Shot?U.S. Hispanics at High Stroke Risk and Many Go Untreated: ReportCOVID Leaves Most Pro Athletes With No Lasting Heart Damage: StudyAmerican Indians Face the Highest Odds for StrokePerils of the Pandemic: Scooters, Cleansers and Button BatteriesModerna COVID Vaccine Can Sometimes Trigger Delayed Skin ReactionsMore Data Suggests New Coronavirus Variants Weaken Vaccines, TreatmentsAdd Sleep Woes to Long-Term Effects of ConcussionsCOVID Death Rates 10 Times Higher in Countries Where Most Are Overweight: ReportCould Taking a Swing at Golf Help Parkinson's Patients?Scientists Discover Why Blood Type May Matter for COVID InfectionNew Coronavirus Variant Out of Brazil Now in 5 U.S. StatesScientists Gain Insight Into Genetics of GlaucomaPatients With Sickle Cell Disease Often Overlooked for Life-Saving Kidney TransplantsDoes an Arthritis Drug Help Patients Battling Severe COVID? It Depends on the StudyNIH Halts Trial of Convalescent Plasma for Mild COVID-19COVID Vaccines for All American Adults by the End of May: BidenWhat You Need to Know About the New J&J COVID VaccineHow Climate Change Could Put More MS Patients in DangerFace Masks Won't Impede Your Breathing, Study ConfirmsSports Position Doesn't Affect Risk of Concussion-Linked CTE IllnessStrep Throat Doesn't Worsen Tourette But May Affect ADHD: StudyFauci Says U.S. Will Stay With Two Doses of Pfizer, Moderna VaccinesAHA News: Finally Getting Around to That Annual Physical? Here's What You Might FindStem Cell Injections Show Early Promise Against Spinal Cord InjuriesStudy Debunks Notion That Statin Meds Trigger Muscle AchesMore Than 87,000 Scientific Papers Already Published on COVID-19Underarm Lump After COVID Shot Is Likely Lymph Swelling, Not Breast Cancer, Experts SayVaccinating Oldest First for COVID Saves the Most Lives: StudyIf Protections Expire, COVID Patients Could Soon Face Big Medical BillsSharp Drop Seen in COVID Testing As New Cases PlateauFDA Approves Third COVID VaccineSpring Allergies Are Near, Here's What Works to Fight ThemRheumatoid Arthritis Meds May Help Fight Severe COVID-19Hair Salon Talk Can Spread COVID, But Face Shields Cut the DangerPandemic Is Hitting Hospitals Hard, Including Their Bottom LineExpert Panel Set to Consider Approval of J&J COVID VaccineIn Israel, Widespread Vaccination Slashes Severe COVID Cases in Older PatientsMental Health 'Epidemic' Threatens Communities of Color Amid COVID-19Masks Vital to Stopping COVID at Gyms, Studies ShowAs Climate Change Lengthens Allergy Season, Pollen Travels FartherVery Low COVID Infection Rate Among Dental Hygienists: StudyPandemic Is Adding to Teachers' Stress, and Quit RatesCOVID Cases, Deaths Plummet in Nursing Homes After Vaccine RolloutAHA News: What's Safe Once You've Had Your COVID-19 Vaccine?
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

I've Already Had COVID-19, Do I Need the Vaccine?

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 14th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Folks who've gotten through a COVID-19 infection might naturally question whether they need to get a coronavirus vaccination when their turn comes.

Experts say they really need the shot anyway, because even after having COVID they might be vulnerable to reinfection.

"We're encouraging people if they meet the other criteria to get immunized because we don't know how long either natural immunity or vaccine immunity lasts," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of public health and human rights at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

All previously known coronaviruses are notorious for promoting short-lived immunity in humans, he said.

"Unfortunately, with other coronaviruses typically the immunity you have -- like if you get a common cold coronavirus -- usually only lasts about a year and a half to two years and then you're vulnerable again," Beyrer said.

This is because the body uses a relatively simple strategy to fight off common cold coronaviruses, and this strategy does not appear to make a lasting impression on immune system memory, said Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

As such, he said there's a chance people who had asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID-19 did not build up any lasting immunity.

"Particularly for people who have milder cases, it may be that they don't have immunity for very long," Beyrer said. "So we still think it's a good idea to get immunized."

Some small studies have raised hopes that COVID does indeed create a lasting impression on our immune systems.

Australian researchers have found stable levels of virus-specific immune memory cells in the blood of COVID-19 patients as much as eight months post-infection, according to findings published in the journal Science Immunology in December. Twenty-five COVID patients were involved in the study, including nine with severe or moderate disease that required hospitalization.

Those memory cells theoretically would help organize a defense against any future COVID infections, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

"Because of the biology of the persistence of these memory cells, it anticipates that we will have rather durable immunity," Schaffner said. "It can't tell us for exactly how long, but it does conform with the observation that documented second infections have been to this point really quite rare."

Until we know more, however, health experts are urging folks who have had COVID to take the cautious approach and get the vaccine.

"We know it's safe because a number of people who had COVID were in both the Pfizer and Moderna trials, and in the AstraZeneca trial," Beyrer said. "There isn't a concern on that front."

The tens of thousands of participants in those trials will be tracked for two years to see how long their immunity lasts, he noted.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about COVID-19 vaccines.

SOURCES: Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, professor, public health and human rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Greg Poland, MD, director, Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; William Schaffner, MD, professor, infectious disease, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; Science Immunology, Dec. 22, 2020