People who get Covid between vaccine shots can get second dose after recovery

The director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC on April 13, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

People who contract the coronavirus between Covid-19 vaccinations can get their second dose after recovering from the disease and are no longer considered contagious, White House chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Thursday.

Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid vaccines require two doses three to four weeks apart. Both vaccines are about 95% effective against the virus, but that strong protection doesn’t kick in until two weeks after the second dose, officials say.

Some people have reported that Covid was diagnosed after the first vaccine shot and before the second vaccine. In that case, Fauci said, they can get their second dose after they recover from the disease and meet the isolation criteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have had Covid-19 may be around others after at least 10 days, 24 hours without a fever, and when other symptoms, if any, improve.

Fauci also noted that a small percentage of fully vaccinated people will continue to develop Covid-19 – so-called “breakthrough cases”. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday that U.S. health officials had confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases of Covid-19 from 84 million Americans with full protection against the virus.

Fauci said officials do not yet understand the risk of developing persistent symptoms, also known as “long covid,” after a breakthrough post-vaccination.

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