4 News Now Q&A: If I already recovered from COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?

Q: If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get the vaccine when it’s available? 

A: Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this right now.

Currently, the CDC does not have an official recommendation on whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 should be vaccinated. To decide, they will need to look at a number of issues, including how much natural immunity people have after they recover from the virus. And that’s still tough to answer.

Even though there is no official recommendation yet, it is possible that some people who recover from COVID-19 may want to think about getting a vaccine.

Here’s the main reason: When you are infected with the virus, your body makes antibodies that find and kill coronavirus in your system. That means you have COVID antibodies after you get sick.

These antibodies will protect you from catching it again, but those antibody levels decrease over time. For some people, they might drop so low they will stop being helpful.

Health experts say this seems to be particularly true in people who had very mild cases or experienced no symptoms at all. As we have seen in a number of cases, if your immunity fades, you could be at risk of catching COVID a second time.

There are some potential drawbacks, too.

Vaccine developers say they have seen some mild to moderate side effects in their studies. But many of those did not include people who had already fought off the virus. It’s possible the side effects could be more intense in someone who already has an immune response.

Information on the vaccine is always changing, and we want to keep you up to date with the latest information. Send us your questions here, and we’ll go to the experts to get your questions answered.

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