Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?

If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, you may wonder if you should still get vaccinated against the virus.

While a previous infection provides some natural protection or immunity, it’s unclear how long this protection lasts. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine even for people who have already had the virus. Recent evidence shows that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated when compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to get reinfected with COVID-19.

Despite some potential side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, these vaccines are safe. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccine continues to undergo some of the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Fully vaccinated people with rare breakthrough infections appear to be contagious for a shorter period of time and have lower rates of hospitalization and death. Even if you’ve had COVID-19 and fully recovered, medical experts agree you should be vaccinated to protect yourself and those you love, including kids and those who are vulnerable.

NOTE: Special considerations apply to individuals currently infected with COVID-19 or who were recently treated for a COVID-19 infection:

  • People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteriafor discontinuing isolation. This includes people with a known COVID-19 exposure who have received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine but not their second.
  • If you had COVID-19 and were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma within the last 90 days, or if you are unsure what treatments you received, talk to your doctor before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you or your child have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, there is additional information to know before getting vaccinated.

And don’t forget to get your Flu vaccine. You can receive the Flu vaccine and COVID booster on the same day. COVID boosters and Flu vaccines are available at your local pharmacies.