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Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had the virus?

COVID-19 vaccine - Clinical trial
FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc., generated antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 in a study of volunteers who were given either a low or medium dose. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people to get vaccinated, regardless of previous infection.

While the coronavirus has already infected millions world-wide, it is evident that the survivors must have built up an immune response against the virus, at least to a small extent. But according to research conducted by the CDC, the protection against the coronavirus infection could last for several months.

“It’s a pretty straightforward question,” said John Hopkins infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja. “Yes, you need to get vaccinated”.

Scientists gather that vaccines bring out a better consistent and optimal immune response, while they boost up the preexisting immunity which a person might have from an infection.  “Your immune system is able to identify the virus, and protect itself,” said Dr, Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University. 

However, it’s impossible to know how long a person might be immune, said Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, an infectious disease expert at Baylor College of Medicine. “Since we’re in this pandemic, and don’t have a handle on it, the safer approach is to vaccinate,” Kulkarni said. “You don’t lose anything and you stand to benefit”. 

Even so, the CDC also suggests that it’s okay to delay vaccination if they’ve been infected in the last three months and let others go first while the supplies are limited.

“All things being equal you would want the person with no protection to go first,” Adalja said.

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ARTICLE: LIDIYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: STAT NEWS

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