People who became infected with COVID-19 may experience more intense side effects from the first dose of the vaccine.
According to Fox News, two small studies from New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Maryland, found that individuals who previously contracted the coronavirus were more likely to get severe reactions form the initial jab.
Experts say this is perfectly normal and in keeping with how vaccines work.
“When your immune system is seeing something that you’ve seen before, you’re all revved up for it,” Dr. Mark Cohen, the chief medical officer at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, told Fox News. “So the cell response, the antibody response comes on much faster, much more intensely. And with that is all the inflammatory activity that comes with it.”
Cohen added that taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen can effectively knock those nasty side effects in a couple of days. “It’s very short,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have had COVID-19 still need to get vaccinated because experts do not know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.
A disturbing study conducted last year found that people could lose their immunity to the novel coronavirus within months. Researchers at King’s College London analyzed the blood of infected patients and healthcare workers and found that the levels of protective antibodies peaked about three weeks after the first symptoms appeared. However, those antibodies were found in only 17% of the patients three months later.
According to The Daily Caller, in some patients, the antibodies were virtually undetectable.
“People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around,” said Dr. Katie Doores, one of the lead authors of the study.
The study also suggested that people can get repeatedly infected with the virus, much like they do with the common cold. It also implies limitations for the effectiveness of a potential vaccine, Doores said.
“Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will do potentially the same thing,”” she told The Guardian. “People may need boosting and one shot may not be enough.”
Experts agree that you need two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be fully protected against COVID-19. In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration say you must wait 21 days after your first shot to get the second, or “booster,” dose. With the Moderna jab, the shots are spaced at least 28 days apart, according to Good Housekeeping.
It is vital for your immunity to complete the vaccination course. Dr. Nicholas Kman, an emergency physician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, says getting both shots ensures as much immunity as possible against COVID-19. Research has shown that getting only one shot of the Pfizer drug, provides 52% defense against the spread of the virus and the first shot of the Moderna vaccine imparts 80% protection. But there are no clinical studies to show how long partial protection lasts. Kman says that while both vaccines do provide about 80% protection against a person becoming infected by the virus after the first dose, the second dose increases the number of antibodies in bloodstream tenfold, offering 95% efficacy, according to Good Housekeeping.
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