GREENSBORO, N.C. — Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, but hope is on the way with the FDA's approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
But if you had coronavirus or are recovering when should you get the vaccine?
I have recently heard the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be administered until at least 30 days after known infection-- 90 days if they get the monoclonal antibody/cocktail.
Is this information true? The reason for my question is my mother recently contracted COVID-19 in a long term care facility. I am concerned she will not be able to get the vaccine.
If you had the virus or you are recovering, doctors say you don't necessarily need to wait 30 days.
Rather, you can get the vaccine when you don't have any symptoms, and when your quarantine period is over.
As for when to get the vaccine if you received a monoclonal antibody treatment, you will need to wait 90 days.
What we found
We went to two sources: Dr. Rebecca Bean, senior vice president of pharmacy at Novant Health, and Dr. Chris Ohl, an infectious disease expert at Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center.
Let's start with monoclonal antibodies because that part is pretty straightforward.
Dr. Bean and Dr. Ohl both say waiting 90 days is the best option citing the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The ACIP advises CDC on population groups and circumstances for vaccine use.
"This is because we do not have any data yet on patients that have also received monoclonal antibody treatments and there could potentially be some interference between the vaccine and the treatment," Dr. Bean said
Doctors Ohl and Bean say getting the vaccine too soon could weaken the effectiveness of the antibody treatment.
So that part of the question is verified.
Yes, you need to wait 90 days after getting the monoclonal antibody treatment to get a COVID vaccine.
Now, let's dive into when you should get a vaccine if you had the virus or are currently recovering. Do you need to wait 30 days?
Turns out, no you don't.
"If you’ve had COVID-19, you can receive the vaccine as soon as you are over the illness and symptoms have resolved.” Dr. Ohl said.
Dr. Bean adds you also need to make sure your quarantine period is over. The CDC strongly endorses 14 days. However last month, the CDC said quarantine could be shortened 10 days, or 7 days if someone receives a negative test result.
But guidance on when to vaccinate is a little different when it comes to exposure. If you've been exposed to the coronavirus, Dr. Bean says you need to wait until your quarantine period is over as well.
But if you live at a long-term care facility and you've been exposed, you can get the vaccine anytime it's available.
"The healthcare providers are already you know taking care of them every day. What we wouldn't want to happen is somebody's been exposed and they potentially expose somebody at a vaccination clinic," Dr. Bean said.
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