[MUSIC PLAYING] AVERY AUGUST: Let's talk about getting immunized.
CYNTHIA LEIFER: Should people who have had COVID-19 and recovered get vaccinated? People who have had COVID-19 and recovered should definitely get vaccinated. We don't know how long protection will last from the natural infection. And we do know people get reinfected. Getting the vaccine will boost your immune response and protect you from getting reinfected.
For individuals with lingering symptoms, so-called long haulers, there is some evidence that getting the vaccine will actually reduce those symptoms. There's no need to wait to get the vaccine if you recover from COVID-19 unless you were severely ill and treated with some specialized therapies like monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. In that case, you need to wait 90 days from your treatment.
AVERY AUGUST: Can I pick which vaccine I get? The short answer is you should take whatever vaccine is available to you. All three vaccines will protect you against severe disease and hospitalization. The Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines are two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose. All three provide protection, regardless of the number of doses that you have to get for the vaccine. At the end of the regimen, the vaccine regimen, you will be protected. And that's what's important.
CYNTHIA LEIFER: Can a person who is fully vaccinated get or spread COVID to others? When a person is vaccinated, they're much less likely to get infected. And if they do get infected, they'll have far fewer viral particles in their nose and mouth. But fewer doesn't mean none. So even if I've had the vaccine, I might have enough viral particles in my nose and mouth to be able to spread that to an unvaccinated individual or maybe someone who's not fully protected.
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Can vaccinated people still spread COVID-19? Should folks who previously had COVID-19 get vaccinated? Cornell immunology experts Avery August and Cynthia Leifer say yes to both.