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When should people who have been infected with COVID-19 get the coronavirus vaccine?



  • Doctors say that people who have previously had coronavirus infections can generally be vaccinated, provided they have no symptoms or active infections.
  • The Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals have to wait 90 days after being infected because they are unlikely to be infected again during this period.
  • But for patients with long-term coronavirus symptoms, it is unclear whether the vaccine will exacerbate the existing inflammatory response.
  • For this reason, the doctor said, it is better to let these people postpone.
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For US vaccinations, individuals who previously had COVID-19 are at the bottom of the priority list.

Emerging research shows that immunity to this virus may last for months to years, so US officials still focus on shooting people who may be sick for the first time.

Todd Ellerin, Director of Infectious Diseases, South Shore Health Department of Massachusetts, previously told Business Insider: “We hope to vaccinate susceptible patients who have not yet contracted COVID.” “Patients will not become you after COVID The first, second, third or fourth group to be vaccinated.”

Nevertheless, if the previously infected person belongs to priority groups such as health care workers or nursing home residents, they are still not prohibited from shooting.

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s late-stage clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is safe for people with a history of coronavirus infection and may be as effective in this group as healthy people.

However, there are some exceptions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with active infections wait until the symptoms disappear and pass the standard 10-day isolation period before being vaccinated. This includes people who have already received the first dose in the two-dose regimen of the vaccine.

Dr. Sandra Sulsky, an epidemiologist and head of Ramboll, a global health science consulting company, told Business Insider: “If you were very sick at the time, it is recommended not to take any dose of vaccine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee stated in December that people who can be vaccinated can wait for the first injection 90 days after the first infection if they want, because re-infection is unlikely during this period.

Dr. Steven Deeks, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “As far as the need for a vaccine to prevent reinfection is concerned, in general, my thinking is that it will not hurt and may help. Tell Business Insider. “So, for the general population who behaved well after COVID, [if] It’s been three months and I need to get vaccinated. “

But for those who continue to experience long-term symptoms, the CDC has not yet provided advice. That’s because researchers are still not sure what caused these lingering diseases.

Currently, doctors advise these patients not to get vaccinated.

What clinical trials have told us so far

Modern vaccine

On December 24, 2020, a person received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images


Pfizer did not screen participants for evidence of previous coronavirus infections in its late-stage clinical trials. Therefore, 3% of the participants had been infected. The data suggests that the vaccine is equally effective in this population, but the Food and Drug Administration commented that there is insufficient evidence to know whether the vaccine can prevent reinfection.

In Moderna’s trial, 2.2% of participants were previously infected.

Sulsky said: “These numbers are small, so their statistics are not particularly reliable. You can’t really rely on them.”

Nevertheless, if a person no longer has symptoms, doctors say that there is no risk of adverse reactions based on the history of coronavirus infection alone.

read more: What is the next step in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine? This is the latest news from 11 leading programs.

Instead, it is “long-distance travelers” who continue to trouble doctors, that is, coronavirus patients whose symptoms persist for three weeks or more.

“It’s difficult to hire people who travel long distances [a vaccine] Natalie Lambert, an associate professor of medicine at Indiana University, previously told Business Insider: “Ethically speaking, getting them vaccinated will be a big problem.”

Dix said that whether in clinical trials or in the United States, as part of routine vaccination, some long-distance travelers may be vaccinated. Therefore, in the end, scientists may obtain enough data to understand whether these lenses are safe for this population.

Long-distance transportation should wait

Coronavirus long-distance transporter

On July 23, 2020, medical staff from the Rehabilitation Cardiology Department of Genoa, Italy, monitored a recovered coronavirus patient.

Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there is “not enough data” to assess whether the coronavirus vaccine is safe for people with weakened immune systems. Long-distance travelers may fall into this category.

This makes it difficult for doctors to give personal advice on whether long-distance patients should be vaccinated.

Deek said: “It certainly makes sense to consult with your primary care provider, but since no one knows what to do, you won’t actually get advice from an informed expert.”

He said that currently, there are two popular theories about why certain people experience long-term symptoms.

Deeks said that the most reasonable explanation is that the long-term symptoms of the coronavirus are related to the inflammatory response caused by the virus. He added that in that case, the vaccine would make the inflammatory response worse.

Dix said: “It’s easier to say that it will do more harm than good.” “With no data and no urgency to get a vaccine, I will wait.”

He said that another idea is that “in theory, there is a persistent infection that can cause symptoms. If you boost your immune response to the infection through a vaccine, you will get rid of the infection and become better…”

But he added that the theory “seems extremely unlikely.”


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