Should you get vaccinated if you’ve already had COVID-19?

Vaccinated individuals are much less likely to experience a breakthrough infection. What should you do if COVID catches you right in the middle of your prescribed series, though? Or, worse—before you’ve even been vaccinated at all?

Even if you’ve already contracted COVID-19, the natural immunity that follows may not be enough to protect you and those around you. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID vaccination after a COVID infection.

If you’ve already had COVID-19, do you need to complete your vaccination series?

According to the CDC, even people who have already had COVID-19 should, indeed, seek to complete their vaccination series.

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, you should get vaccinated after infection, but only after recovering fully.

When to get a COVID vaccine after infection

According to the CDC, you shouldn’t seek out a vaccination while you’re still infected with  COVID. You should wait until you’ve recovered fully.

In fact, they even go so far as to recommend putting off a new round of vaccination after a possible exposure. If you don’t wait until after your isolation period, 5 days at the time of this writing, you may put others around you at risk by leaving your home.

For the most up-to-date recommendation, visit the CDC site directly to get the latest information.

Their biggest suggestion: wait out your entire self-isolation period before continuing your vaccination series or starting a new one. As an alternative suggestion, you may instead delay your next round of vaccines by three months after symptom onset or a positive test result.

COVID-19 reinfection

One of the many arguments in favor of vaccination after COVID infection is the possibility of reinfection—that is, acquiring the virus after recovering completely.

Reinfection became a problem most commonly after Omicron, sublineage BA.2, and beyond. Throughout its evolution, Omicron appeared to develop “immune-evasive” qualities that both differentiate it from its predecessors and allow it to infect new cells more efficiently in its own right, which the Delta variant shares to some extent.

If damage control on a societal scale is the goal, there are few measures more effective when it comes to preventing COVID in the individual, according to the CDC.

COVID vaccines after infection: what you need to know

The best way to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you is to follow the CDC guidelines on case prevention.

Masks, quarantine, isolation, and staying up-to-date on your COVID vaccinations are all great ways to make your health a priority.

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