What if you get infected between two doses of vaccine?
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are extremely effective in the fight against coronavirus-Source: B92
But, even after revaccination, you are not completely protected, American experts warn.
If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, you will have to wait three weeks between the first and second dose, while in the case of the Moderna vaccine, it is necessary to wait for four weeks between the vaccines.
For both vaccines, you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose.
One can get infected after the first dose
The time is needed for the immune system to start creating a response, and experts are still not sure how much protection people have after receiving the first dose. Current studies suggest that a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is about 80% effective in preventing coronavirus infection, approximately two weeks after the first dose.
"It's definitely possible and it's happening," said Paul Pottinger, expert for infectious diseases at The University of Washington, when clarifying the possibility of infection between the two doses.
"Remember, we even register infections in patients who are fully immunized, which means a good two to five weeks after the second dose of any of the mentioned vaccines is needed," Pottinger added.
Experts are familiar with this possibility. Pottinger pointed out that initial clinical trials for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed that both were approximately 95% effective in preventing Covid 19 after both doses administered. But some of the vaccinated who became ill during the study were in between their two doses.
Protection against severe illness and death
Although almost nothing is 100% proof in the field of medicine, it seems that one dose of the vaccine is close to ideal in terms of preventing hospitalization and death.
"The studies showed that no one who got vaccinated died. It's obvious that in the real world we have many, many more people, but they are still extremely effective in preventing serious illness and death," said Dr. Valerie Cluzet a director of Infection Control and Antibiotic Management at Nuvance Health.
"That is certainly true after your second dose, but probably also after the first dose," she added.
What if you get infected in between doses?
If you get infected in between doses, you should still go for the second dose. This is because, as explained by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, experts still do not know how long people are protected from re-infecting after recovering from the coronavirus, so re-infection is possible.
However, little is known about how long vaccines will protect us. Data to date show that people who receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have strong protection for at least six months, and even longer.
However, if you become infected in between doses, you should not plan revaccination until the isolation period has passed - partly to protect others, but also to give your body the best opportunity to develop a strong immune response.
"You should wait until the acute illness is gone. You really want to give your immune system the best possible chance to respond to the vaccine," said Valerie Cluzet.
Keep your mask on and physical distance
Again, even after you are fully immunized, "vaccine breakthroughs" are expected. This is one of the reasons why some recommendations for fully vaccinated persons have changed - such as the possibility of reuniting with other vaccinated persons without masks, while others have remained in force.
So, even if you are vaccinated, you should wear a mask and keep your distance from others, unless you are in a safe area with other vaccinated people or in another low-risk area. If you have not yet been vaccinated, do so and use any vaccine available.
"We are constantly receiving confirmations that vaccines prevent transmission, which means that you not only protect yourself, but also other people," concluded Valerie Cluzet.