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If I've had COVID-19, do I still need to get the vaccine? | Why Guy

"Survivors of COVID-19 are not insured long term immune system protection," one medical expert said on whether those who've had the virus should get the vaccine.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question comes to us via Facebook from Leslie Starrett, who asks "Good morning. Is there any way you can report on those of us that have had COVID-19, if we need to get a vaccine still? Or, if having the virus is already in our system is good enough?" 

Leslie, that's a question many are asking our ABC10 Vaccine Team. If you've had COVID-19, do you need the shot? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], has yet to make an official recommendation on whether coronavirus recoverees should get a shot. Long term data isn't available yet.

"This is largely unknown," ABC10 medical expert and Roseville Physician Dr. Tom Hopkins said. "Survivors of COVID-19 are not insured long term immune system protection with immunity, and there is a possible risk of re-infection."

COVID-19 vaccines, two of which were just approved for emergency use, weren't specifically tested on patients who previously had the virus. If you've had the virus, your antibody levels of immunity decrease over time. Maybe your case was mild. If you're in doubt, the benefits outweigh the risk in getting the vaccine.

"It's recommended for patients to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine based on their health risk category regardless of prior infection with COVID-19," Dr. Hopkins said.

Have a question for Walt aka the Why Guy, reach out to him on his Facebook page.


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