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You ask, we answer: Can I get the vaccine after I've had COVID-19?

Many have a lot of questions about the new vaccine.

HOUSTON — Health care workers and those who are high risk will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. It will be administered in two doses, 21 days apart, but still, many have a lot of questions.

Can I get the vaccine after I’ve had COVID-19?

UTHealth Professor of Infectious Diseases Dr. Luis Ostrosky says yes, but wait. 

“We recommend people wait 90 days after they had COVID before they get the vaccine," Dr. Ostrosky said. 

What will be the effect if I get the vaccine while I am showing symptoms of COVID-19?

To that, UTHealth Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Michael Chang says if you have active symptoms of COVID-19, you should be in isolation and should not try to obtain vaccination. You should get tested to know your status. 

But he said for the Pfizer vaccine trial, volunteers were not enrolled if they were actively sick. He said based on experience from vaccines for other infections, it’s not likely that the vaccine will make things worse if you have symptoms when you receive it, but there isn’t data from the vaccine trials to address this question.

Does the vaccine change my DNA structure?

In short, the CDC says no, saying the material from the COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means it does not change your DNA.

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