Why you should get a 3rd shot even after you've had COVID-19

·2 min read
A health worker prepares a dose of the BioNtech Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
A health worker prepares a dose of the BioNtech Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

Vaccinated individuals who have recently been infected with COVID-19 should still get a third shot, despite the natural immune response from the infection itself, according to B.C.'s provincial health officer and an SFU expert.

"When you are feeling better and recovered from that infection, then you can get your booster dose and we do encourage you to get your booster dose," Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday at a news conference.

Ralph Pantophlet, an associate professor in Simon Fraser University's faculty of health sciences, says just as people who were infected prior to the introduction of vaccines were encouraged to get immunized, vaccinated people who are infected should get a third shot post-recovery as the level of natural immunity following an infection varies from person to person.

"Even if you've been vaccinated and have been infected with Delta variant or Omicron variant or whichever variant, you should consider, after a certain period of time after recovery, to get boosted," he said.

"While it is likely that the infection will have naturally boosted your immune response, that infection may not have boosted that immune response as well as a vaccine might."

Pantophlet says vaccines do a better job targeting the spike protein.

"If you get an infection, your immune system is making antibodies or developing an immune response to everything that the virus has to offer, to every protein, which is great," he said.

"But it is really the spike protein that is the key thing. So getting a vaccine will boost immunity or boost the immune response specifically to the spike."

According to the B.C. government's website on boosters, everyone 18 and older will be invited to get a third dose around six months after they received their second shot.

Those who have had COVID-19 and are six months from their second dose are encouraged to receive a booster after they've completed a self-isolation period and at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms or, for those without symptoms, the date of a positive test result.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting