- After the quarantine period is over, people with COVID-19 can get a booster shot.
- A booster dose increases your protection against the Omicron variant.
- Getting a booster dose is important even after contracting COVID-19 because natural immunity is not always reliable.
About 38.7 percent of fully vaccinated Americans have now received a COVID-19 booster or third dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the current vaccine remains effective against the Omicron variant, this protection diminishes over time, underscoring the need for booster shots in fully vaccinated individuals.
If it has been five months since you completed your two-dose mRNA vaccine main vaccination series, or two months after you received a single J&J vaccine, you can already get a booster dose.
However, if you have recently been infected with COVID-19, you will need to wait a little longer for your booster shot. Even if you’ve been infected before, experts recommend booster shots to maximize your protection from the virus.
What should you do if you test positive after a booster shot?
When can you get a booster dose?
If you have COVID-19, you can get a booster shot right after your quarantine period ends.
People with COVID-19, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, should wait until they recover from the disease, said William Moss, MD, executive director of Vaccine Access International. And meet the criteria for stopping isolation before getting a booster dose of the vaccine, the center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told VigorTip.
Symptomatic people can end their isolation after a full five days because their symptoms are improving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. For asymptomatic people, isolation ends at least five full days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Critically ill patients with COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days. It is important to consult with your primary care provider before ending the isolation period and giving a booster shot.
Also, if you are hospitalized and treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you cannot get a booster shot right away. You need to wait 90 days for the vaccine to work.
“The reason you have to wait 90 days to get a booster dose if you’re on monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma therapy is because those treatments might interfere with your immune response to the vaccine,” Moss said. “These treatments don’t reduce the vaccine’s effectiveness. Safety, but may reduce vaccine effectiveness. After 90 days, these treatments should no longer interfere with vaccine responses.”
what does this mean to you
If you are infected with COVID-19, you can get a booster shot after your quarantine period ends, as long as you meet all the criteria for ending your quarantine. However, if you are very sick, you may need to wait at least five days or more.
Why booster injections?
According to the CDC, your protection against COVID-19 may decrease over time due to mutations in the virus.
“Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were less effective at preventing Omicron infection than the earlier variant, and the booster dose partially restored that protection,” Moss said. “Importantly, the vaccine still prevented hospitalizations and deaths.”
A booster shot is still recommended even if you have had COVID-19 before, as natural immunity is not always reliable. Some studies have found that natural immunity can provide protection for up to eight months. But other studies have found that unvaccinated people who have previously been infected are more than five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
“A common misconception is that people who contract COVID now have strong immunity,” One Medical’s family physician, Natasha Bhuyan, MD, told VigorTip. “The reality is that people develop immunity to varying degrees after contracting COVID, We don’t know how long immunity lasts after infection.”
Long-term COVID after Omicron? we do not know.
Viruses also mutate naturally, so being infected with one strain doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected against other strains, she added.
Researchers from the COVID-19 Response Team at Imperial College London have found that Omicron has a more than 5 times higher risk of reinfection compared to Delta, suggesting that a previous COVID-19 infection may not be enough to protect you.
“Research has shown that booster vaccinations after infection are highly protective, so even if you have had COVID-19 before, full vaccination and booster vaccinations are still recommended when eligible, which have been shown to significantly enhance your immunity and further reduce your risk of reinfection and/or more serious consequences,” Bhuyan said. “We should not rely on prior infection as an indicator of durable immunity.”
Even after contracting COVID-19, the best way to maximize your protection is to get a booster shot once you are eligible.
“If you have any questions about boosters, their effectiveness against variants, or the best time to get them after contracting COVID-19, I encourage you to contact your GP who can help you make the best decision based on your medical needs,” Bhuyan added.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means that you may have updated information as you read this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus news page.