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Ask A Doctor: Do You Still Need the Vaccine If You've Already Had COVID-19?

By Keith Speights - Dec 20, 2020 at 11:30AM

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There's a clear answer to that question.

Pfizer ( PFE -1.24% ) won emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine late last week. Some Americans have already received the vaccine with many others awaiting the delivery of more doses. But do individuals who have already had COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated? In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 11, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina talked with immunotherapy scientist Dr. Leo Nissola about this important question.

Corrine Cardina: I actually saved a viewer question for you that has to do with this herd immunity issue. Steve would like to know, "If you already had the virus, do you still need the vaccine?"

Has there been any guidance on that? Because it's not an insignificant number of the population who have been infected and recovered, and they are wondering, should they get vaccinated?

Dr. Leo Nissola: Steve has a very good question. So thank you for asking.

I've been getting that question lately by the dozens and the answer is yes. If you have had COVID-19 and you've developed antibodies, you do not want to spend your lifetime checking to see if your natural antibodies are still there. You do not want to have to worry about winning off of those antibodies, if that's even possible.

Right now, currently, the discussions around vaccination campaigns and plans, which we have not seen from the federal government yet a robust vaccination plan. I hope that president-elect Joe Biden will implement those changes in the future, is that we actually encouraged people to get the vaccine even though they may have had COVID in the past.

Corrine Cardina: Great answer.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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