Why You Should Get Vaccinated if You've Already Contracted COVID

COVID vaccines are safe, safer than getting sick with the COVID infection. They are not experimental – the vaccines went through all the required steps of clinical trials that all other medications go through. The CDC continues to watch what happens with the vaccines and all the information shows vaccines are safe and effective after millions and millions of people have received them.

The COVID virus that made you sick may not be the type circulating right now so you could get sick again from a new variant of the original virus. And again. And again.

Getting vaccinated protects your family and friends – if you get vaccinated, then you are less likely to get sick from a COVID infection, and you are less likely to make the people you love get sick.

None of the COVID vaccines can make you sick with COVID. The vaccines are NOT a live virus so you cannot get COVID from just the vaccine. It does take two weeks after the second dose (for Pfizer and Moderna; first and only dose for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) to be fully vaccinated so, if you are not careful – if you don’t stay home when ill, if you don’t wear your mask in public, if you don’t put 6 feet between you and other people – you could get COVID before your body has a chance to make enough antibodies to protect you.

The vaccine keeps people from getting very sick and dying from COVID infection. Yes, you may get immunity from becoming infected with COVID but the symptoms you have from the COVID infection are much worse and last much longer than side effects from the vaccine. Side effects from the vaccine may last several days versus several weeks or months from the infection. Some people who get the COVID infection – not the vaccine – are tired, can’t sleep, have difficulty thinking and can’t taste or smell for weeks and months after becoming sick with COVID. These people are called COVID long-haulers, and we don’t know why some people continue to have these symptoms months after the original infection. Side effects from the vaccine don’t last. Someone who has had the vaccine may only feel tired or feverish for a day or two and then they are back to normal. In Colorado, you may be able to get paid sick time from your employer for the side effects from the vaccine, so you don’t have to worry about missing work.

You can get COVID more than once because there are variants, different mutations of the COVID virus. You could get sick at first with one type and then get sick again with a different type. Some of the newer variants make people much sicker and spread more quickly than the original variant.

Doctors are still learning how long antibodies from being sick with COVID last, but they believe there is protection from getting sick that lasts much longer when the person is vaccinated.

Margaret White, RN, BSN, MSHA, is the Director of Quality and Safety at San Luis Valley Health.

Source: Benefits of Getting the COVID Vaccine. Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html on 09/21/2021.