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Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Provide Full Immunity?

Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Provide Full Immunity?

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to certain demographics based upon the risk of illness and hospitalization. The Health Department projects that the vaccine will be available to all Utahns in April 2021. With that in mind, we sat down with Dr. Kelly Amann, Family Practice Physician at Ogden Clinic, to ask him some of the most pressing questions that Utahns have about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine provide full immunity?

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, many studies indicate the immunity wanes over time and immunity is uncertain after 90 days. Reinfection is known to occur after 90 days from having the illness.

How is the vaccine better than recovering from the COVID-19 virus?

The benefit of the vaccination is that it is much safer to receive immunity from the vaccination than from the illness. Experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness. Experts believe that based on the science of how immunity is gained and initial studies indicate that the immunity will last much longer due to all parts of our immune system being programmed to fight the illness, thus providing better long-lasting immunity than by experiencing the illness. We still do not know how much longer yet.

Should I still get the vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19?

Yes, you should consider getting the COVID-19 vaccination regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection. Anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation. Usually, wait 14 days.

Additionally, since reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, people with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired.

Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not available at Ogden Clinic. Certain populations (healthcare workers, first responders, K-12 school staff, and the elderly) are currently prioritized. The Health Department projects that the vaccine will be available to all Utahns in April 2021.

For questions about eligibility or scheduling a test, please go through your local health department.

Davis County Health Department
801-525-5000

Salt Lake County Health Department
385-468-7468

Weber-Morgan Health Department
801-399-7777

Kelly Amann, DO