After months of anticipation, the first coronavirus vaccine will finally be rolled out in the UK from tomorrow.
If you’ve previously tested positive for Covid-19, you may be wondering if there’s any point getting the vaccine.
Now, Professor Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the University of Edinburgh has explained why it’s so important you still get vaccinated, regardless of whether you’ve previously had coronavirus.She explained: “People who have recovered from Covid-19 have varying levels of antibodies, with varying levels of neutralising activity, and thus may be protected for varying lengths of time into the future. Some people may be protected better than others after natural infection.
“Those people who have had Covid-19 are at risk of encountering the virus again – they have encountered it once and will likely do so again. So, it is important that they are as well protected as possible.”
Professor Riley added that the vaccine will likely protect you for longer than the antibodies after Covid-19 infection.
“The vaccines induce very high levels of neutralising antibodies which are thus likely to protect for longer,” she explained.
“So, the vaccine will likely protect for longer than infection in many people, especially people who had mild symptoms who tend to have lower concentrations of antibodies.”
She added: “It is impossible, logistically, to test everyone for antibodies, and measure the precise concentration and function of these antibodies, in order to decide whether they would benefit from vaccination or not.“It is simply easier, quicker, cheaper and much less risky for everyone to have the vaccine, whether or not they have had (or think they have had) the infection before.”
Pfizer/BioNTech’s jab will be rolled out across the UK from this week, although the bulk of the rollout will happen in the new year.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that vaccinations will start with the most elderly, people in care homes and their carers, before coming down the age range, with NHS staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable also high on the priority list.