It takes time for your body to build up immunity, leaving you exposed for a brief period of time. But is it long enough to catch COVID?
Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated with every passing day. If you’re getting the Moderna or the Pzifer vaccine, you’ll have to account for two trips to your vaccine site, waiting for three or four weeks in between each shot to allow the vaccine to work to its maximum potential. But while waiting for your second shot, is it possible to get COVID-19?
While not very common, it is possible to get COVID-19 while you wait for your second dose. “You will see breakthrough infections in any vaccination when you’re vaccinating literally tens and tens and tens of millions of people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a White House press briefing on March 26.
According to data compiled by medical experts, the first shot of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines builds up to 80% of immunity, but it’s a process that takes time, with the shot prompting your immune system to build a response to the virus that can last for at least six months. This percentage is usually achieved within the two week mark. It’s important to stay vigilant throughout your vaccination process, that way you can avoid catching the virus and earn full immunization from your inoculation smoothly.
While it is possible to catch the virus with one vaccine shot in your body, it’s very unlikely for you to develop serious illness or death. “In the studies, nobody who got vaccinated died. Obviously in the real world, we have many, many more people, but they’re still extremely, extremely effective at preventing severe disease and death,” infectious disease expert Valerie Cruzet told the Huffington Post. “That’s true certainly after your second dose, but probably also true for after the first dose.”
If you do get COVID-19 in between vaccine shots, your immunization process will likely remain intact, except for a change in your timeline. According to the Centers for Disease Control: Vaccination of people with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection, including those who experience SARS-CoV-2 infection after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine but before receipt of the second dose, should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and they have met criteria to discontinue isolation.
Waiting until the illness is over to get your second shot will give your body have time to develop an appropriate and strong response to the vaccine.