VAX: Should people who have had COVID get vaccinated?

If yes, when and how many doses?
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My first reaction: They already have immunity, right?

So, c’mon man, don’t suck up any of the scarce vaccine supply that could otherwise flow to the vulnerables.

But, I can understand why a COVID survivor would want to get vaccinated … especially if their previous bout with the virus was nasty or they are experiencing lingering side-effects.

So, what does “the science” and the data say?

“The science” is unsettled as to whether the infection-generated antibodies are sufficiently potent and long-lasting to provide sufficient immunity.

Worldwide, there are few reported cases of people catching COVID a second time . Source

That makes sense since there is evidence that “important markers of immunity remain strong months after infection.” Source

But, having immunity markers does not necessarily mean that survivors can’t get sick again or spread the virus unwittingly while asymptomatic. Source

So, Tony Fauci — the nation’s Chief Political Scientist, Tony Fauci, has asserted on talk-shows that “COVID-19 survivors should still get vaccinated.”

Case closed, right?

Maybe, but let’s reframe the issue…

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There’s a policy issue to be considered…

Since the consensus seems to be that COVID survivors have at least some level of immunity, where should they fall on the vax priority totem pole?

That one is easy for vulnerables still in the vax hunt: right after “me”.

When COVID survivors do rise to the top of the vaccination priority list, another question pops up:

Assuming they’ll be getting Pfizer or Moderna, should COVID survivors get 1 or 2 shots?

Some research has found:

The antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds the titers (immunity markers) found in individuals (who haven’t had COVID) after their second dose. Source

That suggests that one shot is enough.

The same research also found:

The reactogenicity is significantly higher in individuals who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the past. Source

English translation: COVID survivors are more likely to have relatively severe side effects when they get vaccinated.

Why? Because the natural immunity they have (from having been infected) tries to fight off some components of the vaccine.

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Bottom line: “The science” says:

To stretch the vaccine supply, those who have previously had Covid should be moved down the priority list and receive only one dose of the vaccine while supplies are limited. Source

After that, it’s up to the COVID survivors whether they want to get vaccinated.

Whew…

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DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical professional or scientist — just a curious, self-interested guy.  So, don’t take anything that I say or write as medical advice. Get that from your doctor!

One Response to “VAX: Should people who have had COVID get vaccinated?”

  1. Herd Immunity: By the Numbers | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See Should people who have had COVID get vaccinated? […]

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