Fact or Fiction: Do COVID survivors still need the vaccine?

Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM 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.

More than 7,500 South Carolinians have died.

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.


Have you seen coronavirus or vaccine news circulating that you aren’t sure is true?

Reach out to Live 5 Investigates and we’ll find out if it’s Fact or Fiction.

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