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Do I still need a vaccine if I've had COVID-19?

A man in a face mask rolls up his sleeve for a vaccine.

If you've already had COVID-19 and recovered, you may still have antibodies to the virus. But there are good reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine anyway.

For instance, we don't know how long natural immunity lasts. There is some evidence that it may not last very long. That means it's possible to get COVID-19 again. And if you've had it once, you don't want to get it twice.

Most people should take advantage of the chance to get a vaccine as soon as it's available to them. But there are a few exceptions.

Who may want to delay a vaccine

Were you treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while sick with COVID-19? You should wait at least 90 days after your treatment was completed before getting a vaccine. That helps ensure there isn't any interaction between your treatment and the vaccine. Not sure what treatments you received? Ask your doctor.

Have you recently had the coronavirus? You may choose to delay getting a vaccine for a short time while supplies are limited and you still likely have some protection.

Are you currently sick with COVID-19? Wait until you're well and no longer in isolation. And don't get the vaccine if you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Wait until you're out of quarantine.

Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about whether a vaccine is right for you.

You can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines by visiting our Coronavirus health topic center.

Reviewed 4/5/2021

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