AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Those in Amarillo who have recovered from COVID-19 could be wondering when is the best time to receive the vaccine.
Over 27 thousand people in the Panhandle have recovered from COVID-19.
One doctor at Amarillo Medical Specialists says he’s two patients tested positive for COVID-19 twice.
Although they both had fewer symptoms than the first time, one Panhandle doctor says there have been some cases where the second round is worse.
“Not only is it happening, its happening here in Amarillo, so don’t think that because you’ve had COVID once that you’re absolutely protected, because you’re not,” said William Biggs, managing partner at Amarillo Medical Specialists.
Even though a second COVID-19 positive test remains small, he says there is still a chance.
So, he and other doctors recommend getting the vaccine, but the question remains when should it be.
Another doctor recommends these recovered patients should receive the vaccine when it becomes available, but quality preliminary data suggests most people have a 90 day window of not being re-infected after a positive case.
“If they’ve had a confirmed infection within the past three months and they want to wait and let other people get vaccinated ahead of them, that’s certainly reasonable to do on the basis of what we know so far about how we require immunity,” said Rodney Young, chairman of the family and community medicine at TTUHSC.
“If somebody has had it recently, I think it makes sense to go ahead and wait 90 days because they have pretty good immunity for at least 90 days and then get the vaccine later,” said Biggs.
Biggs says some of the patients who tested positive a second time, still had active antibodies.
He says unlike other diseases, having the vaccine could give someone more protection than natural antibodies built up.
“There’s some suggestion that the vaccine actually has more durable protection than the actual infection does, so that’s kind of a first in disease history that we see that the vaccine actually works better than the disease itself as far as providing immunity,” said Biggs.