Should former COVID-19 patients get the vaccine?

WAVE 3 News spoke to doctors about whether or not patients who have had COVID-19 should get the vaccine.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 7:10 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than a million people in Kentucky and Indiana have had COVID-19 over the past year.

As of noon on March 5, the Indiana Department of Health reported 665,285 total positive tests. The Kentucky Department of Public Health reported 408,440 total positive cases Friday.

New cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in both state. But to continue that trend, health expert urge everyone to get vaccinated when it becomes available to them, even former COVID patients.

If you’ve had or currently have COVID-19, doctors tell WAVE 3 News you should still get the vaccine when it’s available to you. And you shouldn’t wait long.

Current COVID patients are advised to wait out the quarantine period, 10 to 14 days, and then sign up for the vaccine when it’s available to them. Doctors ask you to wait so the patient doesn’t infect the person administering the shot.

Health experts say patients who had COVID weeks or months ago are in the clear to sign up.

When the vaccine was first administered in December, there was limited supply. So people with COVID antibodies could afford to wait because those antibodies could protect you for about 90 days.

But doctors say that protection isn’t always guaranteed. It’s too soon to know exactly how long those antibodies could last.

So instead of possibly catching COVID twice, health experts urge everyone to get vaccinated.

“We don’t know how long people have immunity after having the virus,” UofL Health Dr. Hugh Shoff said. “So that’s the impetus for wanting people to get the vaccine. Let’s go ahead and get your vaccine because we’re still watching those people and watching to see how long immunity will last and there is a chance you could get it again past 90 days. So let’s go ahead and get you the vaccine so there’s less chance of getting the virus going forward.”

If a patient has recently received another vaccine, like the flu shot, Dr. Shoff says the patient should wait 14 days to get another vaccine. Anyone who received a BAM antibody infusion are also told to wait 90 days.

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