CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, one dose will not provide full immunity against the virus. Two shots are required, weeks apart, and it is possible for someone to become infected with the virus in between doses.
But what happens if you catch the coronavirus before you can receive your second shot?
If you catch COVID-19 after your first shot but before your second, do you have to start the vaccine series again?
No. You do not need to restart the vaccine series if you become infected with COVID-19 after your first shot. A person would only need to wait until they are cleared from isolation before receiving their second dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone with a history of a coronavirus infection can get vaccinated, regardless of whether it was symptomatic or asymptomatic.
However, the health agency does note that those who had the virus before could consider delaying the start of their vaccine series due to lingering immunity.
Dr. Brannon Traxler, South Carolina's Interim Public Health Director, states that a person is unlikely to get reinfected in the 90 days after first catching the virus.
"People might want to consider waiting to be vaccinated until closer to the end of their 90 days to allow more at-risk people who do not have any antibodies to be vaccinated before them," Traxler said.
If the COVID-19 infection happens after a person's first shot, the CDC states that the person should continue on with their vaccine series, with the only reason to delay getting that second shot is if the person is still sick.
"It is considered safe, as soon as they are recovered and have met those criteria for release from isolation," Traxler said.