VA is listening to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. This blog series answers questions from Veterans.
I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to receive the vaccine?
Yes, you still need to receive the vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 re-infection is possible. You should receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if you had an infection previously. The immunity that someone gains from having an infection like COVID-19 is known as natural immunity.
This natural immunity varies from person to person. For some, it may not last long at all. Experts are still studying natural immunity for COVID-19, but because re-infection may be possible, you still need to receive the vaccine for greater protection.
I’m not in a high-risk population and the mortality rate of COVID-19 is low. Do I still need to receive the vaccine?
Yes, you still need to receive the vaccine. The CDC also reports that even though many people with a COVID-19 infection only have a mild illness, some people become very sick from COVID-19. Even for those without an increased risk, your symptoms may be severe or long-lasting.
In extreme cases, you could even die. You still need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure you are protected from severe illness from COVID-19.
With so many people infected around the country, everyone should be immune soon. Do I need to receive the vaccine?
Yes, you still need to receive the vaccine. In addition to your personal risk of becoming sick from COVID-19, experts do not yet know at what point “herd immunity” will be achieved. Herd immunity happens when a large part of a population is immune to a disease which makes it much harder for that disease to spread. It can even protect those who cannot be vaccinated, like babies.
The amount of people necessary to achieve herd immunity is different for every disease. Scientists are working to determine how many people need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. If most people choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it will help us reach herd immunity and end the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three W’s: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others.
To learn more, you can review CDC information about COVID-19 and vaccination.