HOUSTON — If you’ve already had COVID-19, will the vaccine make a difference? Will you have to get it every year? Those are just some of the questions many people sent to the VERIFY team. Dr. Dirk Sostman, chief academic officer at Houston Methodist, responded.
CLAIM: When the vaccine is available to the public, then the pandemic is over.
FALSE. Dr. Sostman said, “The pandemic is only going to be over when enough people are immune to the virus and the virus stops spreading.”
CLAIM: If you've already had COVID-19, the vaccine won't make a difference.
FALSE. Dr Sostman said, “We know that many people who develop COVID-19 have antibody levels that are not very high or that dissipate more rapidly than we would like. We recommend that everyone get this vaccine, whether or not they’ve previously had COVID-19 infection.”
CLAIM: The vaccine will be needed annually.
UNKNOWN. Dr. Sostman said, “We don't know the duration of protection that this vaccine will give you. So, we really don't know if the vaccine will be needed annually, every two years, every five years or some other some other frequency. We'll have to stay tuned and see what the long-term results of the research are.”
CLAIM: The vaccine will be effective immediately after the second dose.
FALSE. Dr. Sostman said, “It takes at least a week for the vaccine to give you the maximum immunity after the second dose.”