If I Had Covid-19, Should I Still Get Vaccinated? Absolutely

The number of people who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is growing steadily greater by the day. While most of those vaccinated thus far belong to high-priority, high-risk groups—older adults, health workers, educators, and so on—in due time a much broader swathe of the population will gain eligibility, including the many millions of us who have caught and recovered from the disease at least once since the pandemic began.

Though at least some level of natural immunity likely persists among those who had Covid-19 before, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that are not only more transmissible but probably also more challenging for the immune system to overcome has put a damper on mass vaccination efforts that depend almost entirely on technologies created using the original Wuhan strain. Just as there exists a large possibility that vaccines will have to be modified to keep pace with viral variation, previously infected individuals may be more susceptible to reinfection by the new variants—bad news for everyone, certainly, but especially for those who had a long or life-threatening battle with the disease the first time around.

At least one preprint study can provide some clarification on the subject—not to mention some encouraging findings. According to the study, which was uploaded to the preprint server medRxiv in early February, the neutralizing antibody response of individuals who had Covid-19 previously strengthened considerably—by 1000-fold, to be precise—following their first injection of a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine. Their antibodies not only neutralized both the Wuhan and South Africa (B.1.351) strains, but in some cases SARS-CoV-1 as well.

Read full article on Forbes

Originally published on Forbes (February 25, 2021)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.