Studies reveal that earlier infection does not guarantee protection from COVID 19 re-infection. This applies to those who have afterthoughts upon receiving the first jab. Neither earlier infection nor the first dose of a vaccine produces enough antibodies to offer full-proof protection.
A team of scientists took 27 vaccinated adults for the purpose. Some among them were those who recovered from a COVID 19 infection. They were required to submit samples of their blood at regular intervals after the first and second dose of their vaccination. They were allowed the option to go either for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Earlier Infection Does Not Guarantee Immunity From COVID 19, Studies Show
Scientists checked the samples of blood after two months of them receiving the second dose.
Upon analysis of the same after 21 days of receiving the second dose, they found out the antibodies present in them were quite strong; up to 98%. But the protection they showed from emerging variants varied greatly. They ranged from 67% to 92%.
Furthermore, the samples of blood collected from previously infected persons after the second dose showed a significant decline in the number of antibodies; 20%.
They also noticed another change. Those who displayed more than one symptom of the infection responded more to the vaccine than those who were asymptomatic.
In the past, a vast majority of people and even physicians believed that previous infection offered protection from re-infection. This assumption had created a situation where those who had prior infection refused to get vaccinated. If at all they received the shot, they felt that just the first dose will do the job.
The present study contradicts this wrong notion. Your early exposure to COVID 19 does not guarantee immunity from re-infection. It does not even produce antibodies in sufficient quantities after the first dose.
And the level of antibodies present in the blood samples that were asymptomatic appeared to be the same as those who never had any such infection.
Researchers conducted this experiment before the Delta variant showed up. But experts believe that their findings are still applicable.
When it comes to vaccine-induced protection, the situation remains the same for all variants, including the Delta. Vaccines protect you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. They were not designed to prevent the virus, they said. Besides, immunity also wanes with time. This increases the threat of breakthrough infection.
The Delta variant when combined with waning immunity necessitates vaccines.
If you are fully vaccinated, a breakthrough infection does not have to scare you away. Vaccinated people either suffer mild symptoms or are generally asymptomatic. You may experience the following side effects upon receiving the vaccine:
- Pain, swelling or redness in the affected area
- Muscle aches
If you experience severe side effects upon receiving the first dose of either of the mRNA vaccine, consider going for a different one.
Talk to your doctor to decide if you can have over-the-counter painkillers or antihistamines to minimize discomforts after the vaccination. Remember, such medicines are not recommended before taking the jab.
Exercising your arm or applying clean wet clothing too should reduce pain and swelling.
Stay hydrated before entering the vaccination site. Dress light and go by all the instructions you receive upon entering the venue.
The side effects may appear more severe when receiving the second dose of the vaccines. Know that they will go on their own after a while.
Call the doctor only if you find yourself unable to manage discomforts on your own. Certain discomforts indicate that your body is ramping up its immunity upon receiving the jab.
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