Have you recovered from COVID-19? Experts say you still need the vaccine

Do COVID-19 survivors need the vaccine?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Starting Wednesday FEMA is preparing to bring an additional 21,000 doses of the vaccine to the Pipkin building at the Liberty Bowl every week.

However, a chunk of the community may be wondering if getting a vaccine is even necessary because they feel they are already protected.

There are over 790,000 people in Tennessee who have recovered from COVID-19 and due to natural antibodies from having the virus many question if they should get the vaccine.

Federal vaccination site opens April 7

“So I’m telling my patients they absolutely need to get the vaccine even if they have had COVID,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Manoj Jain who is also a consultant with the Memphis and Shelby County Joint COVID-19 taskforce

Jain says the severity of infection plays a role in how many antibodies your body will produce.

“So for example, one might have had mild COVID or asymptomatic and they may not produce sufficient antibodies to protect them that’s why it’s really important to get the vaccine so we know everyone has protective antibodies.

According to the CDC, the vaccine teaches your body how to fight against the virus.

It’s unclear how long you are protected from getting sick again after getting COVID-19.

Dr. Reginique Green with Christ Community Health Services says some of her patients are still hesitant towards the vaccine.

“It’s 2 to 1. I would have two people who are open to getting the shot and then you’ll run across that one who still for whatever reason is just not ready,” said Green.

Green says while the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped significantly, she’s still concerned about virus mutations.

While studies have shown antibodies and the vaccine provide protection against the UK variant, it’s unclear about the level of protection from the Brazillian, South African or any other variant that might appear.

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“As we continue to spread the virus, it will continue to mutate every so often and that’s why we are trying to get everyone immunized so we can not have further mutations,” said Green.

According to the CDC, if you’ve been treated for COVID-19 using monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.

However, for everyone else, the CDC doesn’t really have a recommendation.

Jain suggests waiting maybe a month after infection before getting the vaccine.

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