Recovering from COVID-19? Doctors say wait 4 weeks before getting vaccine

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Thousands of people across the Rio Grande Valley have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but some health experts say those who actively have the virus should avoid it. 

Chairman of the Board and Chief Administrative Officer for DHR Health in Edinburg Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas said it's not recommended for people who have the coronavirus to get the vaccine. 

"If you had COVID and you were ill... and you recovered from it, you wait at least four weeks after symptoms have subsided before getting the vaccination," Cardenas said. 

COVID-19 patients need to wait before receiving the vaccine, Cardenas explains. He says even though the body may have developed natural antibodies to fight infection from the virus, getting a vaccination once a person has recovered is highly recommended. 

"There is some time there where you have natural immunity and the COVID vaccination enhances that natural immunity. It's like getting a booster shot," Cardenas said. "It is recommended even if you've had COVID and even if you have antibodies, that after four weeks of your recovery that you consider going ahead and getting your vaccination."

Cardenas said DHR has not seen any previous COVID-19 patients experience symptoms or side effects other than arm soreness, fever or nausea but he reminds people to see their primary care physician if symptoms linger.

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