can i get covid-19 again?
People who recover from COVID-19 do develop an immune response to the disease after infection; however, these antibodies usually decline after 8 months.

The immune system remembers and recognizes a virus infection after a person recovers from it. If the body is exposed to the same infectious agent again, immune cells and proteins that circulate in the body can recognize it and kill it, protecting the body against the disease and lowering the severity of illness.

People who recover from COVID-19 disease have all these components of the immune system. However, the specifics of this immune response and how long it lasts following infection are unknown.

  • The number of protective antibodies in the blood of those who recovered from COVID-19 varied greatly between people.
  • The antibodies usually decline at three to eight months following infection.

There are a small number of reinfections, in which the infection is usually not as severe or there are no symptoms at all. The same is true for those who have been vaccinated.

Even after being vaccinated, it is possible to become infected and infect others, however, the risk of serious infection is considerably low. The danger of mortality is greatly reduced.

As a result, people who have been sick or vaccinated are encouraged to take precautions to prevent infection. This includes wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing.

Should a person that has recovered from COVID-19 get the vaccine?

Because it is unknown how long natural immunity may remain, it is recommended that you get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.

According to the available research, neutralizing antibodies fade after three to eight months; hence, it is recommended to get the vaccine about two to three months after recovering from COVID-19.

It is best to discuss with the doctor the dosing and booster schedules.

How do COVID-19 vaccines work?

For COVID-19, a variety of vaccinations have been developed and are available. All vaccines have the same goal, which is to elicit an immune response that is unique to the COVID-19 virus. However, they work in different ways and are all effective.

The coronavirus spike protein is used in most COVID-19 vaccines to elicit an immunological response. On the surface of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, there are spikes of a protein structure called S protein. These spike proteins aid the virus' attachment to cells and illness progression.

The immune system recognizes the spike protein as foreign and responds by producing long-lasting immune cells and antibodies (fighting cells) that remain in the bloodstream and defend the person.

  • If a vaccinated person is exposed to the coronavirus later, their immune system will fight the virus more quickly and efficiently.
  • The person who has been vaccinated is protected from the disease and will not get seriously ill.

What are the advantages of the COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine protects people in the following ways:

  • Aids in the prevention of COVID-19 in the community
  • Reduces the risk of getting seriously ill and hospitalized if a person contracts COVID-19
  • Lowers the risk of dying from COVID-19
  • Makes it harder for the disease to spread as the number of people protected from COVID-19 rises, contributing to herd immunity
  • Prevents COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, allowing it to mutate and become more dangerous

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

Sore arm, slight fever, flu-like symptoms, weariness, pain, and redness at the injection site, and headache are common side effects that occur after immunization and last for a day or two.

These symptoms are typical and indicate that the body is strengthening its defenses. If the side effects last for over a week, you must contact your doctor.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective?

Research has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective.

  • It takes about two weeks after receiving a single dose vaccine for a person to see significant levels of protection.
  • Both doses of a two-dose vaccine are necessary to provide considerable protection. 
  • It takes about two weeks for a person to get protected after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a booster dose after six months of the mRNA vaccine series and four months after the Janssen vaccine for optimal immunity.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/17/2021
Image Source: iStock Images

World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Cennimo DJ. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Medscape.