CLEVELAND, Ohio Readers have questions related to the second COVID-19 vaccine shot, especially if people who have recovered should get the second shot, and about allergic reactions and side effects.
Were providing answers from health care experts.
If you have specific questions concerning how a pre-existing condition or pregnancy may affect your ability to take the COVID-19 vaccine, please ask your primary care physician. Find out if you can ask questions via email, or arrange for a telehealth visit to get your concerns taken care of.
Q: Should individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 get the vaccine? Do they need both shots?
A: Health experts say its beneficial and safe for people who had COVID-19 to also get the vaccine.
The protection that comes from recovering from COVID-19 is called natural immunity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It happens because the body has created antibodies against the coronavirus, and those antibodies help protect against subsequent infections.
A vast majority of people infected with COVID-19 produce at least some antibodies. The vaccine will boost the natural immune response already in place from having recovered from the illness, health experts say.
The immune response from natural infection has a range, while the vaccine produces a measurable and predictable immune response. This is another reason why people with natural immunity should still be immunized.
Here is an explanation of why both shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are important.
People with COVID-19 antibodies may have a low risk of being reinfected, suggests a new study from the National Cancer Institute.
One-shot vaccine for survivors?
A new study suggests that those who have had COVID-19 may need only one shot of the vaccine for protection from future infections. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, given a few weeks apart.
The study, published in January, found that coronavirus survivors had far higher antibody levels after receiving two doses of the vaccine when compared to those who did not contract COVID-19. The study also found that people who previously had coronavirus were more likely to have side effects, including headaches, muscle aches and chills, after receiving their first vaccine shot.
A new study suggests that one shot of the Pfizer vaccine provides significant protection after one dose.
Q: How soon after recovery can people who had COVID-19 receive the vaccine? Should they wait for 90 days?
A: The CDC recommends waiting 90 days to get the COVID-19 vaccine if a person recovered from a COVID-19 infection and was treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.
Interactions between those treatment methods and the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been studied, the CDC said.
People who tested positive for the illness, having only mild symptoms and not treated for the coronavirus, should wait until their doctor-recommended isolation period is over before getting the vaccine.
Q: If you have had the first vaccine dose without any allergic reaction, can you have an allergic reaction with the second dose?
A: There is a difference between an allergic reaction, and side effects. A severe allergic reaction requires treatment with epinephrine or hospitalization, according to the CDC.
Some people have a non-severe, immediate allergic reactions, such as wheezing, hives and swelling within four hours of being vaccinated.
People who experience a severe or non-severe allergic reaction from the first vaccine dose should not get the second shot, according to the CDC.
A CDC study published in January showed that between Dec. 14 and Dec. 23, 2020, there were 21 cases of anaphylaxis after the administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses). Of these cases, 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination.
This article by the Cleveland Clinic goes into more detail about the vaccines and allergic reactions.
If you get a red, itchy, swollen, or painful rash on the arm where you got the shot, you have COVID arm. If the first shot gives you a rash, you should still get the second shot at the recommended time, the CDC recommends. Try getting the second shot in the opposite arm.
Here is a story discussing why COVID arm isnt dangerous and why people who get it should receive their second dose of the vaccine.
Side effects vs. allergic reactions
Side effects from the vaccines injection site pain, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, and redness at the injection site are expected for people who have had and have not had COVID-19.
The Clinics website addresses vaccine side effects, and if side effects are worse if a person has recovered from COVID-19.
Q: Does the lack of significant reaction from the second dose of vaccine indicate the vaccine is less effective?
A: Many people feel mild side effects, such as soreness at the injection site and low fever, after receiving the vaccine. But the lack of side effects is not an indication that the vaccine isnt working for you
Q: Should I take a PCR or antigen test to determine if the vaccine was effective?
A: The CDC doesnt promote antibody testing in order to find out who has immunity after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Commercial antibody tests may not search for the same antibodies that the vaccine produces. Someone who has been immunized and is immune to the virus may still test negative for certain antibodies, health experts said.
In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines protected against the coronavirus 95% of the time and 94% of the time, respectively. But that does not mean everyone who gets the vaccine would test positive for antibodies, health experts said.
Here is another story discussing why you shouldnt get a COVID-19 antibody test after vaccination.
Your coronavirus vaccine questions answered:
How will local drug stores keep the coronavirus vaccine on site if it needs to be cold? How will they avoid waste?
If Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are for people 16 and older, what does that mean for children? What about minors with pre-existing conditions?
Should cancer patients get the coronavirus vaccine?
Can you request one coronavirus vaccine if you have concerns about the other?
Should you get the coronavirus vaccine if youve had a bad reaction to the flu shot?
Are you contagious if you have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?
Can you mix and match two doses of coronavirus vaccine from different manufacturers?
Can I still get my second dose of coronavirus vaccine if I develop COVID-19 symptoms after the first?
Should you get the second vaccine if you contract COVID-19 after your first coronavirus vaccine dose?
Will your COVID-19 vaccine be less effective if you need to wait longer for the second dose?
If the coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, how will you know if youre in the other 5%?
Why do I need to keep a mask on if Ive been vaccinated for coronavirus?
Who should skip the second shot of coronavirus vaccine? Weve got answers - cleveland.com
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