Should you get the Covid-19 vaccine if currently Infected?

The Claim: If sick with Covid-19 you must go vaccinate immediately
The Verdict: claim verdict

Claim: If sick with Covid-19 you must go vaccinate immediately

If you are sick with Covid-19, medical experts advise that you must wait for at least 30 days until your coronavirus symptoms disappear before you can be vaccinated.

If you are sick with Covid-19, medical experts advise that you must wait for at least 30 days until your coronavirus symptoms disappear before you can be vaccinated.

Experts say if you are vaccinated while you have Covid-19 in your body, the vaccine would be wasted because the body is receiving a dead virus to fight the infection.

As continuously explained by health experts, vaccines help stop the transmission of Covid-19, keep people out of the hospital with serious cases but what vaccines cannot do is help fight Covid-19 if you already have it.

In an interview with CITE, City’s Health Services Director, Dr Edwin Sibanda, confirmed that people with Covid-19 must first recover before they could be vaccinated.

“We do not vaccinate those who have Covid-19, people must first wait until they fully recover,” he said, noting that vaccinations were not treatments but were preventive measures.

Dr Sibanda noted that the waiting period is between one or two months after fully recovering from the virus.

“When you vaccinate whilst sick with Covid-19, you have wasted the whole vaccine. It’s not that the vaccine will make you worse or better but you have wasted the vaccine because we are giving you a dead virus when you already have a living virus. So there’s no point or benefit, you would have wasted the dose,” explained the health official.

“Vaccines work by helping your immune system learn how to identify and fight the coronavirus.”

He added this was why health personnel were supposed to ask people first if they had any Covid-19 symptoms.

“We are supposed to ask about symptoms before vaccinating. I’m not saying we are asking (people) but it’s what we are supposed to do,” Dr Sibanda said.

Appearing on a segment on ‘Why can’t you get vaccinated against Covid-19, if you have Covid-19’ hosted by Bhekisisa -the Centre for Health Journalism, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) Professor Salim Abdool, Karim said vaccinating while sick with Covid-19 confused the body.

“Covid-19 has four stages: you have the initial infection which is part of the incubation period. You have the clinical symptoms during which you are positive, you then have the recovery where your antibody levels rise and in some individuals, they have the fourth phase, which is Long Covid. Now during the acute phases of Covid-19, that’s the first two phases, you have the virus that is already replicating, it’s making copies of itself and it’s stimulating the immune response already,” he said.

“What you want to do is you want to avoid giving a vaccine during that time because then you are giving the body two sets of signals. You are giving it the virus that’s replicating as an immune signal to respond to and you’re giving it the vaccine.”

Prof. Karim advised people to wait at 30 days after they were diagnosed with Covid-19 to be vaccinated.

“During the first 30 days after you’re diagnosed with Covid, don’t get vaccinated. But as soon as possible, thereafter please go and get vaccinated because the vaccine is safe,” he said.

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