BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Officials with the Jefferson County Department of Health said some people who have recently battled COVID-19 need to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine, but not everybody.
Dr. David Hicks said you only need to wait 90 days to get the vaccine if you were treated with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies.
“It’s not having COVID alone,” Hicks said. “It’s having COVID and the treatment of either of those two. The convalescent plasma and the monoclonal antibodies.”
He said health officials don’t know how those treatments impact the effectiveness of the shot.
“One of the issues is trying to figure out whether the treatment that you received has any impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine,” Hicks said.
He said if you had the virus and didn’t get those treatments, you don’t need to wait 90 days. But, you can wait if you want. He said now you have natural antibodies that could help protect you.
“COVID-19 in the last 90 days plus being treated with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies,” Hicks said. “Other than that, it’s if we have limited doses. You can wait to give somebody else the courtesy of going in front of you, because you do have some level of protection with antibodies. Maybe wait your turn in line and let someone else go, because the thought is if you had COVID in the last 90 days, you have some level of antibodies protection. So give somebody else a shot before you.”
Dr. Hicks said you can wait up to 90 days after your infection to get the shot, but they don’t know exactly how long natural antibodies last.
“With natural infection from COVID, the immune system protection is anywhere from six weeks to up to four months,” Hicks said. “That is roughly what we are thinking.”
While Dr. Hicks said you can wait if you want, he said the vaccine is a more guaranteed protection than the natural antibodies and he encourages everyone to get the shot when it is their turn.
“If you had COVID two months ago and it is your turn and you have a chance to get an appointment, get the vaccine,” Hicks said. “Do not wait.”
He said it is important to remember that you can catch the virus at any time. He said it takes two weeks after being vaccinated for your body to build antibodies.
“If you get COVID and you get treated with certain things and that means you delay getting the vaccine, that would be unfortunate,” Dr. Hicks said. “That’s why we have to still be vigilant and do all we can do.”