COVID vaccine

What to Do If You Get COVID Between Your 2 Vaccine Doses

What should you do? Do you postpone your second dose?

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

While the two-shot coronavirus vaccines do provide protection after a single dose, there is still a chance you could get the virus between doses.

So what should you do? Do you postpone your second dose?

Here's a look at what you should know:

According to Dr. Mark Loafman, chair of family and community medicine for Cook County Health in Illinois, it is recommended that you reschedule your second dose if you contract covid in between doses.

"First of all, you know, you're already developing some natural immunity from the virus itself. So, the need for the vaccine is now delayed so there's no urgent need to do it because you already have immunity - natural immunity," he said. "And in addition, there is some concern that some patients will have worse side effects then, because they're still kind of recovering, they're still developing the initial immunity from the virus. So there's pain without the game, potentially."

For more on what you should know about the second COVID vaccine dose click here.

According to Loafman, there's a window of time to reschedule.

"You have some time, a window, and it's thought to be a minimum two to three months of good, healthy immunity from the virus itself," he said. "So take that opportunity to convalesce and recover, and then get or finish the COVID vaccination when it will start to become helpful again."

But when will you know when you should reschedule?

Chicago's top doctor said the quarantine measures required for anyone who gets COVID still apply, regardless of vaccination.

"If you get COVID between your first and second vaccine dose, you need to isolate just like you would if you got COVID not related to your vaccine does," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. "So if you get COVID you need to stay home for the full minimum of 10 days and until your symptoms have resolved, assuming that you had symptoms. Once your symptoms have resolved, once you're totally feeling better and you're no longer infectious, you can go ahead and get that second dose."

While the vaccine itself cannot give you the virus, it is also not 100% effective at preventing the virus entirely, though those who receive the vaccine are far less likely to be hospitalized or die from it, data shows.

A new CDC study reported that a single dose of Pfizer's or Moderna's COVID vaccine was 80% effective in preventing infections. That number jumped to 90% two weeks after the second dose, the study on vaccinated health care workers showed.

Even after the second dose, there's still a possibility you could get coronavirus, but, according to Arwady, "it's rare."

"We have had cases here in Chicago of people who have been fully vaccinated," Arwady said during a Facebook Live Tuesday, noting that it's a "small number."

"I don't want to give the impression this is a common thing," Arwady added. "You know 100 cases out of the hundreds of thousands here in Chicago is not a lot."

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