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Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection lasts.
Even once you’ve gotten vaccinated, it is important that you continue to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and watch their distance. Stopping a pandemic requires all the tools available to us.
We know the vaccine is effective at protecting people who get it from COVID-19 — but you may still be able to spread it to others. Health experts are still working to understand more about the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide before changing their recommendations.
It could take up to three weeks after your last dose of the vaccine to have protection. After that time, because the vaccine has shown high effectiveness, we are hopeful that most people who have received two doses of the vaccine will not be required to quarantine, but we await further guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
At this time, please continue to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19, even if you have been vaccinated. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic. Health experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change this recommendation.
Yes. The vaccine was highly effective in studies but not 100% effective. Current information suggests it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have a mild or asymptomatic infection or be able to spread the virus to others. Until we know more, it is important to continue taking precautions, like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, even after you have been vaccinated.
The COVID vaccines that are currently available both require two doses of the vaccine. Even after receiving your second dose, you will not be immediately protected from COVID-19. Studies show that it takes about one to two weeks after your last dose for your body to be able to protect itself against illness.
Current information suggests it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have a mild or asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others so it is important to continue taking precautions. Continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing until it is clear that it is safe to stop.
It is very important to get both doses of the vaccine so that your body develops enough antibodies to fight the COVID-19 virus if you get infected in the future.
It is also very important that you receive the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine on time. The time frame between the vaccine’s first and second dose is determined by the companies producing the vaccine to maximize your body’s ability to create antibodies against the virus. Many vaccinators will go ahead and schedule your appointment for your second dose while making your first appointment or during your appointment.
Getting more than one dose for a vaccine is not unusual. In fact, it’s the norm. Many routine vaccines require more than one dose for maximum protection.
We don’t know yet – researchers will continue to collect data on study participants to determine if immunity decreases over time and if repeat vaccination is necessary.
If you have symptoms shortly after receiving the vaccine, these symptoms do not mean you have gotten COVID-19 from the vaccine. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may feel like flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. For more information about symptoms after receiving the vaccine you can view the CDC’s What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine fact sheet.
This term describes when enough people have protection - either because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated - it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread between people in a community and cause outbreaks of disease.
Public health experts are still learning about what percentage of a community would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. The percentage needed to reach herd immunity varies by disease.