Two studies suggest that you can get long-term immunity after being infected with COVID-19. People who previously had COVID-19 have high protective antibody titers for at least three months, and at six months still had persistent parts of the COVID-19 virus in their intestines that continued to cause high protection antibodies.
• One study showed that after you are infected with the virus or are vaccinated, you develop lasting B and T lymphocytes with viral neutralizing properties that can protect you for at least three months, and additional data with time will probably show much longer protection (Cell, Jan 7, 2021;184:169).
• The second study followed 87 patients who had proven COVID-19 infections (Nature, Jan 18, 2021). At 40 days they all had full protecting antibodies against COVID-19. After six months, they had 20 percent of the amounts of antibodies that were found at 40 days, but the six-month antibodies were more potent and could be more protective. At six months, seven of 14 patients also had COVID-19 virus remnants in their intestines.
Vaccinated People Can Skip Quarantine for Exposure to COVID-19
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on February 10, 2021 that those who have received the full course of COVID-19 vaccines can skip the standard 14-day quarantine after exposure to someone with the infection, as long as they remain asymptomatic. However, be aware that it may be remotely possible for a vaccinated person to transmit COVID-19 and infect someone else, even though they have no symptoms.
Data on Allergic Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines
From December 14, 2020 through January 18, 2021, 66 allergic reactions occurred from 17,524,676 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. That is an allergic reaction rate of about 6.6 cases per million doses administered (JAMA, February 12, 2021). Thirty-two percent of the 66 allergic reactions were in people who had had a prior episode of an allergic reaction to:
• vaccines (rabies, influenza A[H1N1], seasonal influenza, or unspecified)
• X-ray contrast media (gadolinium-based, iodine-based, or unspecified intravenous)
• unspecified injections
• sulfa drugs, penicillin, prochlorperazine, latex, walnuts, unspecified tree nuts, jellyfish stings
Current recommendations are that everyone should wait for 15 minutes after receiving a vaccine to see if an allergic reaction occurs, and those who have had previous allergic reactions to anything should wait for 30 minutes (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2020;69(42):1522-1527). Common signs and symptoms in anaphylaxis cases include hives, diffuse red rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, or nausea. The personnel giving vaccines are always prepared to treat allergic reactions.
Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com.