FAQs About the COVID-19 Vaccine | January 8, 2021
FAQs About the COVID-19 Vaccine
Published in house (St Vincent Charity) using CDC as resource.
Q. If I have had COVID how long do I have to wait to get the vaccine?
A. If you have fully recovered from your COVID-19 illness you can get the vaccine anytime. But you will have some natural antibodies from having had the illness and so can wait up to 3 months before getting the vaccine.
Q. How long after getting vaccinated can I consider myself protected?
A. Even after getting the shot, there is a period of time when you are vulnerable to the virus. Experts say that the COVID vaccine can take from 10-14 days to begin to protect you, and the first dose will only deliver half of the necessary protection. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
Q. How long will I have immunity after receiving the vaccine? Will a booster be required?
A. We do not have the answer to that question at this time. As time goes on and more data is collected , we will have a better idea on how long immunity from the vaccine lasts.
Q. If I already have had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
A. COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. You should not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated.
However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved.
Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. Therefore, people with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired.
Q. Do I need to wear a mask when I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A. Yes. CDC recommends that during the pandemic people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine.
Q. When can I stop wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others after I have been vaccinated?
A. There is not enough information currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
This information is correct as of 1/8/21.
Information provided by
Dr. Kevin L. Cooper, MD
Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center