January 12, 2021

If I’ve Already had COVID-19, Do I Still Need the Vaccine?

There are several reasons why someone who’s been infected with COVID-19 should still get the vaccine when they’re eligible. This includes people who have serious cases, involving hospitalization, as well as mild and even asymptomatic infections.

Why Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine If I Have Already Been Infected?

Your Natural Immunities to COVID-19 Don’t Last Forever

Once you’ve recovered or otherwise been cleared of the coronavirus, your level of antibodies will begin to wane. Remember, everybody will respond differently, and this virus is still relatively new. So, science doesn’t yet have enough data to predict how long antibody protection will last from one person to another.

To further complicate this ever-changing landscape, the initial immunity acquired through infection varies from case to case, too. Some serious infections are so intense that the patient’s immune system is overwhelmed and their immune memory doesn’t fully develop. Similarly, it’s common in mild cases that a patient’s immune system doesn’t form enough antibodies.

So everyone needs the renewed protection provided by the vaccine.

How Long After My Coronavirus Infection Should I Get the Vaccine?

It’s rare for reinfection to occur in the first 90 days after recovery, but significant reductions in immunities due to neutralizing antibodies begin in the first few months. If you’ve had the virus and completed a quarantine period, you can receive the vaccine when it’s offered to you.

Post COVID Care – When and Where You Need It.

Baptist Health has developed a program for patients that had COVID-19 and are still experiencing symptoms or do not feel they have fully recovered. If you are experiencing any issues after having COVID-19 such as persistent shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, or ongoing symptoms, you can get care now from Baptist Health’s long COVID program via a virtual visit with a provider. 

Continuing Precautions

Regardless of whether you’ve been infected or received the COVID-19 vaccine, it remains important for all of us to maintain precautions to prevent spreading:

  • Stay at home unless there’s an important reason to go out
  • Wear a mask in public and maintain a safe distance from others
  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in our homes
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue

Be Safe, Be Informed

To learn more about COVID-19, visit the Baptist Health COVID-19 Resources page. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness related to COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and schedule your vaccination appointment today.

Useful Resources and Next Steps:

Four Things You Should Know About the New Coronavirus Strain
Why Will a Vaccine for Children Take Longer?
[PODCAST] COVID-19: Where Are We Now? (Dec. 2020 Update)
Find a COVID-19 Testing Site

Learn More.