Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection should get the vaccine.
“If you already had the virus and recovered, you still need to get vaccinated,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr. Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
“Those who have contracted the disease should get inoculated 2 weeks after their recovery,” he said.
“Earlier, individuals who tested positive for the virus required to wait for 3 months between recovery and vaccination. However, that has now changed.”
“Under the new guidelines, Covid-19 patients only need to wait for 2 weeks to get the shot,” Hassan said.
He said people who recover from COVID-19 are getting infected with the virus again.
“We were under the impression that if a person gets infected with the virus, he/she will develop antibodies and will not get the disease again,” DAK President said.
“But, many people who recover from Covid-19 do not develop antibodies,” he said adding “even those who mount adequate antibody response, their antibodies fade within a few months time and they become susceptible again.”
“Some have second bout of Covid-19 as soon as one month after their first infection and some people have been hospitalized and even died,” Hassan said.
“And, the new variants put the recovered patients at risk of reinfections,” he said.
“People who have got recovered from Covid could get infected with a mutated strain of the novel coronavirus.”
“Natural immunity from the infection is simply far too unreliable in the face of such a devastating virus,” Hassan said.
He said vaccine generates much stronger and more consistent immunity than the natural infection.
“There is evidence that vaccine induced immunity lasts much longer than immunity built by contracting the virus.”
“Vaccines have been found to be effective against the variants too,” he added.
“A new study showed that vaccination after infection produced six times more antibodies than a vaccine by itself. That means administering vaccine to recovered persons will further strengthen their immune response and make them well protected,” said Hassan. (GNS)