If I Had COVID, Do I Still Need to Get Both Doses of mRNA Vaccine?

Yes, CDC recommends that you should still get a full series of COVID vaccines even if you already had the virus.

Why do I need to get vaccinated if I already had COVID?

Currently, scientists don’t know how long you are protected after you recover from COVID-19.  Protection may also vary depending on whether you had mild or severe disease or a variety of other factors.  A recent study showed that people who were not vaccinated had 2 times higher odds of getting reinfected with COVID-19 as compared to people who were fully vaccinated. It may also be possible that having the virus may only prevent you against that one specific strain in the future, whereas a vaccine can stimulate your body to provide protection against many.

How long should I wait after COVID to get the vaccine?

If you have COVID symptoms, then you should wait until you have recovered from symptoms (with the exception of loss of taste and smell) and are at least 10 days from the start of symptoms and 24 hours with no fever.  If you tested positive and do not have symptoms, then you should wait at least 10 days after your positive test.  If you were treated using monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, then CDC recommends waiting at least 90 days before getting a vaccine.  If you have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (or MIS), then you should talk with your doctor about waiting until you are recovered and at least 90 days after symptoms.

Do I have to get the two shot mRNA vaccines?

You should get the vaccine that is available to you.  Since it is recommended that you be fully vaccinated, you should get both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if you choose one of the mRNA vaccines.

Last update: October 15, 2021, 9:23 AM ET

Science review: GHH, GSN