How Long Until You’re Protected After Your COVID Vaccine, Top Dr. Responds
When you need to know what's happening with the coronavirus, join KICKS 105.5 every Thursday morning. Dr. Rajeev Fernando answers your COVID-19 questions.
Dr. Rajeev Fernando is one of New York's Top Infectious Disease Specialists and this week, he discusses when you're protected after getting your COVID-19 vaccine and how much you're protected after your first dose.
Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a few people testing positive for the virus after getting their second vaccine. UConn Woman's Basketball coach Gino Auriemma is the latest, is there any correlation between getting that second dose and testing positive?
"Remember, it takes two weeks after the second dose to actually give you the immunity, but also remember you can still carry the virus in your nose. People can still get sick, but with the vaccines it's more unlikely, you may still get a mild syndrome. What I always harp on is vaccinations save lives, you're not going to die from this horrible disease, you're not going to go to a hospital. Remember it's impossible to get the virus from the vaccine, there's no chance that will happen."
Mike in Brookfield say's he already got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and wants to know if he's at least protected from getting a bad case or hospitalization before he gets his second dose.
"That's a great question, thanks for checking in. Right now, you have about 60% protection after the first vaccine. Remember you should still be wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. It's really not until the second dose where you'll get upwards of 95% protection, you definitely got some bang for your buck. I don't have a slam dunk answer about getting a more severe case after your first dose, but remember our flu vaccines give you such low potency, some years it 30%, others it's in the 40% range, but when you have 60% protection, for me I really think it will prevent hospitalization or death."
Michele in Purdys asks, given that most people are getting vaccinations, what is your idea or timeline that COVID would stop being transmitted? Her mother is in a nursing home so she's a little extra concerned.
"Another great question. We're waiting for that magic number that has not been published yet. Remember when Pfizer and Moderna did their studies to see how successful the vaccine was? Unfortunately they didn't study how much it actually decreases the transmission. The numbers on how much protection you get are out there crystal clear, but we still don't have a number on a decrease in transmission. Some of the studies from Isreal say it's upwards of 90% in the decrease of transmission, those numbers have yet to be seen in the U.S. but they are promising. In my opinion, without the data yet, and given that nothing is 100% in life, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your mom is wear a mask."
If you have a question for Dr. Rajeev Fernando, the best way to get it to us is with the mobile "chat" feature on your KICKS 105.5 Mobile App.