Local doctors: Both vaccine doses are needed for best immunity to covid-19


Local health experts say there’s a small window of immunity for some people — not all — who have recovered from the coronavirus, but it doesn’t stack up to the immunity provided by the vaccine.

“There’s some evidence that people may be less likely to get infected for three months or even longer after a covid infection, but it is not a guarantee by any means, so getting the vaccine is still a wise thing to do,” said Dr. Kevin Shiley, Catholic Health infectious disease expert.

Variants pose a problem for the natural immunity phase as well.

“In South Africa, they have not identified circumstances, where people have become infected with the original virus, recovered from that, and then become infected with the South African variant,” said UB infectious disease expert Dr. Tim Murphy. “That indicates that the immunity you get from the original virus is not protective against the South African variant, and that’s worrisome.”

To stop variants, doctors say it’s good to get vaccinated — and to take both doses.

“The best way to prevent them, is to make sure that we reduce the level of virus in our community to as close as zero as we possibly can, so having people partially immune is not going to do that,” Murphy said.

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