Experts believe that a person previously exposed to covid-19 still needs to get vaccinated.
The immune response that arises after the infection with the virus cannot provide enough protection as compared to the defensive response that comes with vaccination.
Expert’s Mandate, Covid-19 Vaccine Necessary Even For Those With Prior Exposure To The Infection
Heat experts believe that individuals who have had covid-19 in the past are still equally susceptible to contracting and transmitting the disease in case they have not been vaccinated.
Prior infection does not equate to vaccination
Health experts are urging individuals, even those having a history of covid-19 infection, to get the shots to avert the recurrence in the future.
It came into notice after the Republican Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul, stated that he does not plan to get vaccinated after he contracted the disease in March 2020.
Paul believes that unless it is evident that people are dying or getting hospitalized in large numbers due to the infection, he will not get the shots since his prior infection has produced natural immunity in his body.
It is contrary to the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which that recommends people get vaccinated regardless of prior exposure to the virus or not.
The CDC recommendation states that it is unclear how long the immune system if the body will provide protection against the virus.
It is quite likely that a person contacts the infection even though they may have been sick by the virus in the past.
How experts foresee this
Dr Julie Parsonnet, a specialist in adult infectious disease at Stanford University in California, states that the opinion held by Rand Paul shows his inadequate understanding of the immune system.
Dr. Parsonnet further adds that it can be a misleading message since, during the first infection, the immune system of the body faces the virus for the first time and battles it.
However, it doesn’t provide adequate memory in the immune system of the individual to counter the infection if it occurs the second time.
She further adds that there are individuals who do not develop any immunity at all against the virus even after getting exposed to it. Sich individuals still remain susceptible to the contracting te infection for the second time.
Also, it is important to note that e exposure to the infection does not guarantee that enough antibodies will be circulated in the individual’s bloodstream that can initiate a rapid response during a second infection.
Lastly, Dr. Parsonnet concludes that it is not easy to predict who develops natural immunity. For someone, it can develop after recovering from the infection, while for others, it may never develop at all.
Why is vaccination necessary after exposure to the virus?
Dr. William Schaffner, a specialist in Infectious disease at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, states that there are two reasons to get vaccinated even if someone has been infected and recovered from the virus.
The antibody produced by vaccination is way more than the antibody produced followed by the infection. Such a large volume of antibodies in the system ensures that the individual is protected against the virus for a longer period of time.
Moreover, the immunity obtained from vaccination can also produce protection from few variants of the virus strain, compared to the immunity achieved from the prior infection that can b effective against that particular strain of the virus only.
How high are the stakes?
According to experts like Dr. Parsonnet, the statement made by Rand Paul is a contradiction to the united approach that is required to fight the virus, and it can cause further negative perceptions among the people regarding vaccinations.
As for now, President Joe Biden has set a goal to vaccinate 70% of the adult population of the United States before the 4th of July celebrations roll out.
However, this too leaves one-third of the American population without any vaccination, which is a potential factor for the resurgence of the cases in case the virus strain mutates.