When to Get the Vaccine If You've Already Had COVID-19

Getting the vaccine

Knowing when to get your COVID-19 vaccine might seem confusing if you have already had the virus.

CNN helps break down when it is advised to get your shot with emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen, who answers some common questions you might have if you previously contracted the coronavirus.

Should I get the vaccine if I have active COVID-19 symptoms?

A patient needs to be currently healthy before getting the vaccine and it is suggested to speak with your medical care provider before getting the shots if you have symptoms currently or had COVID in the past.

If I had COVID in the last year do I need to still get the vaccine?

Yes, says Dr. Wen and she notes the vaccine provides "better, longer and certainly more consistent protection than natural immunity," while explaining it is still unknown how long immunity lasts when someone has recovered from the virus.

I had COVID very recently, how long do I need to wait to get vaccinated?

"If it's been 10 days and they have minimal or no symptoms, it would be fine to get the vaccine at that point," the emergency physician tells CNN.

Do I need to get both vaccine doses if I had COVID?

If you are getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, yes, both doses are vital, regardless if you had COVID in the past or not.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID in between my first and second dose?

Dr. Wen tells CNN a patient should wait until their symptoms subside before getting their second shot. "Your immune system is already revved up and responding to the coronavirus, so you do not need the vaccine to further stimulate your immune system at that point," she explains, noting it is still important to follow up with the second shot.

If you are on the fence about getting your vaccine, The Doctors detail all of the amazing ways your daily life will improve after being fully vaccinated. Find out all the reasons -- in addition to your health and the health of others -- getting vaccinated should be a priority for you and the eligible members of your family.

More: A Doctor's Advice for 'Wait and See' People Questioning the COVID-19 Vaccine

More: Should You Take Pain Relief Medications after Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

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