Can You Still Get Vaccinated While You Currently Have COVID-19?

As many people sign up for COVID-19 vaccines, you may be wondering if you should still get vaccinated if you are currently infected — with or without symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with COVID-19 who are symptomatic should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered and have met the criteria to not continue isolation. The criteria includes that 10 days have passed since their symptoms began, 24 hours since a fever without medication, and the improvement of other symptoms (via CDC).

Asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 should also wait to be vaccinated until they meet CDC quarantine requirements. Following these guidelines keeps you from going into the public while still infected and contagious. 

This guidance also applies to those who are infected with COVID-19 in between vaccine doses, according to Verywell Health. Vaccination may not also be necessary immediately after COVID-19 infection anyways. Current evidence states that COVID-19 immunity can last 90 days after recovery, meaning your body still will have antibodies to attack the COVID-19 virus.

When should you get vaccinated after having COVID-19?

For this reason, the CDC recommends people who have recovered from COVID-19 to defer their vaccination date for three months to allow those without natural immunity to get the vaccine first. Experts also say getting vaccinated while you're sick with COVID-19 likely wouldn't boost your immune system's response to your current infection.

Getting vaccinated while still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms could also prove to be problematic when monitoring any vaccine side effects, as they can be similar to COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms. Side effects should subside within 36 hours of receiving the vaccine. If your symptoms last longer and you are concerned, contact a medical professional.

Although there is no known harm to receiving the vaccine while still infected with COVID-19, health experts recommend staying in quarantine until after the contagious period to prevent the spread at vaccine distribution sites.

Even after vaccination, it is recommended to follow safety precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing.