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VERIFY: Yes, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve tested positive for antibodies

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma you should wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.

SPOKANE, Wash. — As the percentage of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington and Idaho continues to increase, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears poised for FDA approval and new Coronavirus cases are trending down in both states.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s Vaccine Tracker, 5.27% of Washington’s population is now “fully vaccinated.” The figure’s a tad higher in Idaho at 5.88%. 

We’re still a long way from herd immunity, but there is reason to be optimistic about the trajectory of the pandemic.

Still, questions remain about who should get vaccinated and why.

KREM 2 Viewer Glen recently emailed the Verify Team seeking clarity on he and his wife’s situation. He wrote, “My wife and I both had COVID and we tested positive for 7 weeks, finally we both tested negative and a week later the good news is that we both tested “positive” for antibodies. Is it recommended that we still get the vaccine if we are still positive with the antibodies?”

Sources

For the answer to Glenn’s question the KREM 2 Verify Team turned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Payal Kohli, a Denver-based physician and medical expert for KREM 2’s Denver sister station 9News.

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have antibodies?

“So, it is recommended for individuals who have had COVID, recovered and they have antibodies, to still go on and get the vaccine,” Dr. Kohli said.

The CDC also addresses this question in a post titled, “I’ve already had COVID, should I still get vaccinated?”

The answer, the CDC writes: “Yes, due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection.”

However, the CDC adds the caveat that if someone was treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, they should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re unsure what treatment you received, the CDC urges you to consult your doctor.

“Because having those synthetic antibodies or having convalescent plasma can actually reduce the efficacy of the vaccine because it basically stops the vaccine from working before it gets started,” Dr. Kohli explained.

Dr. Kohli added that so far the data shows vaccine-induced immunity from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines seems to last longer than natural immunity.

Verdict

We can verify that yes you should get vaccinated against COVID-19 even if you’ve already recovered from the virus and tested positive for antibodies.

Do you have something you want verified? Contact the KREM 2 Verify Team at verify@krem.com, text 'VERIFY' to 509-448-2000, or leave Mark Hanrahan a voicemail at 509-838-7334.