People who already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated, scientists urge
Vaccines boost natural immune responses and have an amazing track record of preventing serious illness and death.
As the U.S. grapples with its troubled vaccine rollout, an alarming increase in coronavirus cases across the nation has resurfaced a long-simmering question: Do people who’ve already had COVID-19 need to be vaccinated?
Natural immunity is a powerful force against certain diseases, such as chickenpox and measles. Surviving a natural measles infection can yield immunity that is comparable—or in some cases, superior—to vaccination, says Ruth Karron, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
But first, of course, the patient has to survive.
It’s also not yet crystal clear whether immunity from contracting COVID-19 is as powerful as the protection of a vaccine. What is evident is that the available