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VACCINE Q&A: Do COVID survivors still need the vaccine?

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's website says the COVID-19...
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's website says the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live, attenuated or inactivated vaccines.(Live 5)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 9:30 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The state health department reports 441,697 South Carolinians have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

While some people don’t even know they have the virus, many have miserable symptoms.

Nearly 7,600 South Carolinians have died, according to the latest data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The only potential silver lining for surviving patients is that they may have short-term immunity. But the CDC says, “Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19... it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus again.”

“If you had COVID, it doesn’t mean you’re protected indefinitely,” Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian with Roper Healthcare said. “We’re still learning about how long that immunity lasts, but it’s not going to be sufficient to protect you. So please make sure you still get your vaccine even if you have had COVID.”

We asked how long COVID patients should wait before getting their vaccines.

“If you have been diagnosed with COVID 19, the current recommendation is to wait 90 days from that infection until you get your vaccine,” Dr. Ellis-Yarian said.

That’s because your body may react even more strongly to the shots if you’ve already fought off the actual virus.

According to the ZOE COVID symptom study, which involves exerts from Universities such as Harvard and Stanford, “People who have had a previous COVID-19 infection are almost twice as likely to experience one or more mild whole body (systemic) after effects” from the vaccine compared to people who haven’t had the virus.

DHEC recommends that even if you have COVID antibodies, you should still socially distance and mask up. Scientists don’t know how protective those antibodies are yet.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.