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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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How long after getting COVID-19 should I get the vaccine? Answering your questions

Posted at 7:24 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 07:24:36-04

There are still many questions people have about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. We put a call out on social media, asking people to send in their questions for Dr. Phillip Levy, the chief innovation officer for the Wayne Health Physician Group.

Here are some of the questions and his answers.

How soon after getting COVID-19 should you wait to get the vaccine?

It's a common question. The single best answer is as soon as you're not symptomatic anymore. There are discussions and rumors that people say to wait a full 90 days after infection, but you don't have to wait that long. As soon as you're asymptomatic, it's OK to go ahead and get the vaccine.

What should long-haulers do, if you still have some symptoms?

When we're talking symptoms, we're talking acute symptoms. We want to avoid two things. People who are still spreading the virus potentially going to a vaccination site and spreading it to others. The second thing is that every time you get an injection of a vaccine, the intended purpose is to trigger the immune system to get a response. If you already had the coronavirus and you're having prolonged symptoms, while this is not a group that's been studied, there is the possibility that the vaccine can make your response to the virus a little bit more aggressive. For long-haulers, I'd work with your doctor to see when you're in the safe zone.

If you got the shot and you're around someone that tested positive, should get you tested?

Absolutely not if you're fully vaccinated. That's one of the things the CDC has recommended that if people who are fully vaccinated, and fully vaccinated is two weeks after second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or two weeks after single-dose J&J. The reason not to get tested if you're fully vaccinated is, while we think there may be a brief asymptomatic carrier period, that's still not known for certain, it's probably not more than a day or two, you might miss it and it also won't change anything because the virus isn't going to be spread as we think.

Why is this vaccine being suggested to pregnant women? I thought it was unethical to include pregnant women in studies because of the obvious risks?

Any vaccine that is currently being used clinically under emergency use authorization has been authorized by the FDA for human use. If we think back to the first SARS pandemic or the first wave of SARS in 2003, 2004, one of the biggest complications of SARS was a miscarriage. SO the thing with pregnancy is you're not just dealing with one person, you're dealing with two people. The thought is, if you can get the mom vaccinated, there may be cross-transmission protection to the fetus, and we're absolutely seeing evidence of that. Two days ago, a study was published showing the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women.