How To Find Out If You Got The Job – How bad is it to get a booster while you have COVID? — Some people may not know they are infected when they get the booster
He received his booster shot. She was ready for the side effects of the vaccine: fatigue, aches, maybe even a fever. What he did not expect was an illness that would last for days and a positive rapid antigen test for COVID-19.
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In retrospect, it made sense. She remembered a tickle in her throat the day of the booster shot, but had just realized it was her body’s response to a busy weekend. After deciding to get tested, she discovered that she had been in contact with someone who had tested positive.
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Fortunately, it seemed to be a mild infection. But what happens when someone gets a booster shot when they’re already infected with SARS-CoV-2?
Whether you inadvertently get infected with the virus just before or just after getting your booster, an infection can cause symptoms but isn’t likely to interfere with the effects of the booster, said Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins. School of Public Health in Baltimore.
“I suspect it’s not going to be a major effect other than you might be dealing with more symptoms from the vaccine and from the infection you have at the same time,” she said. “It could be nastier than normal.”
In fact, your chances of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 are almost as high up to 6 days after getting a booster shot as without a booster, according to a study published in
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. “If you only got your booster a day ago, you’re better off not having it,” said Benjamin tenOever, PhD, a professor in the department of microbiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
When you go to get a booster shot, the staff at the vaccination site may ask if you have symptoms of COVID-19. This is not because infection and booster interact, but to protect everyone at the vaccination site. However, Simone Wildes, MD, an infectious disease physician at South Shore Health in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, said that while an infection at or near the time of vaccination is not uncommon or particularly harmful, it makes more sense to wait until it is detect antibodies. levels drop after an infection and then get a boost.
The CDC initially recommended waiting 90 days after an infection to get vaccinated. But the guidelines have since changed to reduce the chances of someone missing a shot or booster after waiting, she said. According to the updated guidelines, “people with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.”
Although both infection and vaccination can cause symptoms that occur in response to a virus, the immune response to a vaccine, including the booster, and the immune response to the virus itself are different processes.
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After receiving a first inoculation, some cells in the body will pick up the injected mRNA and start executing what tenOever likened to a software program to produce the spike glycoprotein that characterizes SARS-CoV-2. The antigen-presenting cells “will see this very strange-looking structure on the surface of the muscle cells in the shoulder and mount a response, and that response takes some time,” she said.
In those 2 to 3 weeks when the post-vaccine immune response gets stronger, “the antigen presenting cells will teach your immune system how to recognize this foreign protein, which in this case is a spike,” she added.
The mRNA that entered his arm also teaches the immune system to recognize the foreign spike protein in muscle cells, via immunoglobulin G, but not in the mucosa, where it would use immunoglobulin A. Without this mucosal immunity, tenOever explained, SARS-CoV-2 can infect the upper respiratory system after exposure to the virus, but for the most part, it cannot progress further in a vaccinated person.
If you get infected right at the time of the booster, you not only lack mucosal immunity, you also lack the advantage of the learning process that immune cells undergo in the weeks after vaccination. “The more time between your booster and seeing a real virus, the better off you are, because you’ve given your immune system a lot more time to explore different spaces and ways to stop the virus,” tenOever said.
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But if you do get an infection and recover, the immune learning process is refined in a way that the mRNA vaccine cannot induce. “When you get infected, what happens is the virus obviously now starts killing cells and destroying cells and making a giant mess and losing a lot of inflammation. But it also allows your immune system to recognize other components,” he noted, such as the protein in the nucleocapsid. , which is inside the virus, unlike the spike proteins.
Adalja said that while fever, muscle aches and headaches can occur in both immune response scenarios, side effects from the vaccine are distinguished from symptoms of advanced infection, to some extent.
“Upper respiratory symptoms would be a clue,” Adalja explained. These include sore throat, congestion, and loss of taste and smell.
“And then the other aspect would be if it drags on,” she added. While side effects from the booster may only last a day or two, a prolonged illness likely means an infection.
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“That’s the key,” Wildes said. “If you have symptoms for more than 72 hours, we strongly recommend that you contact your health care provider and get tested, because you shouldn’t go beyond that point with the vaccine for most people.”
Because the body builds such a robust response system after infection, immunity against infection can be very protective, but it is even more so with vaccination. In a study in Nature, researchers found that vaccinated people with prior infection neutralized SARS-CoV-2 better than their vaccinated counterparts without prior infection. A preprint study from Israel suggested that hybrid immunity may outlast vaccine-induced immunity, but both decline over time.
So how long does hybrid immunity prevent reinfection? “If [natural immunity] were to occur with a Delta variant, it might not be enough against the Omicron variant. But then again, the boost might not be enough against it either,” Adalja said. “So, I think that’s an open question.”
If it were the case that you got enough immunity just from a natural infection, then we wouldn’t be advocating vaccines in these people as well, Wildes noted. “It’s not well resolved because what happens is that different people develop different levels of antibodies.”
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In any case, an infection that occurs before a booster shot has had time to develop all of the body’s defenses is likely to be mild. This, of course, depends on other factors: age, comorbidities, and immunocompromised status. It is still possible to get severe illness and spread the virus to others, experts said.
The end result is to develop an advanced infection just before or just after a booster shot is possible, and the resulting hybrid immunity confers some additional protection. And, as with all responses to the virus, it varies from person to person.
But the most important thing, experts stressed, is to get vaccinated first and get a booster when appropriate.
“Just get your backup,” Wildes said. “I want to make sure word gets out that the data is clear: the two-dose vaccine is not going to be effective against the Omicron variant, which is already here. If I get COVID on vacation, what should I do? and when can i go home? : Goats and Soda As summer travel increases, so does COVID. Experts share tips on how to prepare ahead of time in case you get infected while on vacation or a visit, and what to do if you get that dreaded positive test.
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Coronavirus FAQ: I took a trip and got COVID. That I have to do? When can I go home?
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So you’ve joined the millions of travelers taking off this summer for vacations, weddings, family reunions, conferences. And you flew to your destination.
You arrive, you’re having a great time. So you feel a little bad. Your throat is rough. Maybe start coughing. Or your head feels like it’s about to float out of your body like a rogue balloon.
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What are you doing now? Where you stay? Can you get some Paxlovid if you are a good candidate for this or another COVID-19 drug? And the big question: When will you be able to fly home? True confession: It happened to me. Here’s what I learned from the experience and subsequent interviews with COVID experts.
Any traveler who has yet to take a summer trip should be aware that the pandemic is still raging. The surges are happening in the US.
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