booster shots

If You've Had COVID, When Can You Get Your Vaccine and Booster Shot?

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

How long should you wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot after being diagnosed with a coronavirus case? Chicago Department of Public Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady weighed in Thursday.

"You can get the shot anytime after you have recovered from COVID, so you should not get the vaccine in those first 10 days when you're still in isolation," Arwady said in a Facebook live event. "This would be true for children too."

Chicago's top doctor added that for the first three months after recovering from COVID, the likelihood of being diagnosed again is "quite low." After three months, she said the natural immunity begins to decrease.

However, those who are considered the "best" protection from COVID, according to Arwady, have recovered from the virus and have been vaccinated.

For people who have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus, but were diagnosed with a breakthrough case of the virus?

"There is no time that you need to wait after getting a breakthrough infection to get a booster, assuming that you are that breakthrough infection time," Arwady said in a Facebook Live event.

Should a person complete their at least 10-day quarantine and "feel fine," then that individual can receive a booster shot, according to Arwady.

Arwady said the only exception to that rule is if treated for the coronavirus infection with monoclonal antibodies, an infusion typically done for those with high-risk immune systems.

"In that setting, they recommend waiting the 90 days," Arwady said. "But otherwise you don't need to wait, and you should get a booster."

People who've been vaccinated can also contract COVID a second time, but the chance is far lower than for those who've gotten the vaccine.

“There is a very, very small chance,” Esper said.

Fewer than 0.005% of fully vaccinated Americans have experienced a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death — and people who have already had COVID-19 may be even less likely to be reinfected, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

“There is a very coordinated and concise effort against vaccines, and those people want to amplify breakthrough infections as a reason not to get vaccinated,” Esper said. “But the safety and benefit of getting vaccinated is very, very strong, and they far outweigh the risks of getting vaccinated, which are very, very small.”

Chicago's top doctor also said Thursday that although she hopes for people to not contract COVID, a breakthrough case does increase immunity to the virus.

Contact Us