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COVID-19: When Can You Get Second Vaccine Shot if Infected After First Dose?

Published On May 14, 2021, Updated On Jul 07, 2021

Experts from all over the world have been emphasizing the importance of getting COVID-19 vaccinated for the past few months. Wearing double masks and getting vaccinated are the two most common precautionary measures being advised to everyone nowadays. Needless to say, despite taking all safety measures, many people in India have reported testing COVID-19 positive, even after taking both doses of the vaccine. 

Experts have given the name “breakthrough cases” to cases like such where an individual has tested positive for coronavirus after getting the first vaccine shot. If reports from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are to be believed, the incidence rate of such cases in India is less than 0.05%. Despite the low percentage, most people are concerned about their second dose. ‘When to get vaccinated after the first dose if COVID-19 infected after the first shot?’ has become one of the most common questions among Indians today. 

Why Should You Get the Second Dose Even if You Have Tested Positive After the First Shot?

If you are one among many who have tested positive for novel coronavirus after your first COVID-19 vaccine shot, first of all, know that you must go ahead and take the second dose by all means. 

Be clear about one thing - the COVID-19 vaccine has not caused you coronavirus disease. As a matter of fact, COVID-19 vaccines are disease-modifying vaccines. Once you have been administered both the doses, you will develop antibodies, and chances of severe infection, as well as death, will become lower. Vaccination will reduce your chances of being hospitalized due to coronavirus disease by 85%. 

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As per the ICMR data on the vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines are effective on various coronavirus variants that are currently mutating. In the forthcoming time, we may have variants that minimize the vaccine’s effect, say experts. In such a situation, it is important to continuously follow the coronavirus protocols and get vaccinated.

So, even if you get infected after the first vaccine dose, do not think you don’t need the second shot. 

When To Get a Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose if Tested Positive After First Shot? 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 after the first vaccine dose, it does not mean that you cannot take the second shot. 

As per the advice of the Health Ministry, the second dose of the vaccine must be delayed for at least four to eight weeks after recovery.

The four-eight week delayed period of the second COVID-19 dose is applicable for:

  • People with active symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Patients with anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma
  • Patients who are acutely unwell and hospitalized (with or without intensive care) who suffer from any other illness

As per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can receive the second vaccine dose once they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation. CDC also emphasized that there are many factors that affect how a vaccine works in “real-world conditions”. Some of the key elements may include host, mutant variants, and programmatic factors like following dosing schedules or storing and handling vaccines properly.

Trials indicate that differences in timings for second doses help in achieving a high level of antibodies in the system. Missing the second dose may postpone the boosting of the antibodies. 

Final Words

Having said that, if you want to fight Covid-19 the best way, get your second vaccine dose even if you have tested positive after the first shot. Remember to wear your mask at all times, wash hands regularly, and follow home isolation guidelines properly.

Read More Here: How to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19?

Precautions To Take After COVID-19 Vaccination

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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