Health Plan of San Joaquin | Focus Your Health | Winter 2023

Already had COVID-19? You should still get boosted You planned to get COVID-19 booster shots, but then you got a breakthrough case of the virus. You might wonder: “Should I still get boosted now that I likely have some natural immunity?” The answer is yes. You should still get a booster shot—but perhaps not right away. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends booster shots for everyone who is eligible, including people who’ve already had COVID-19. But if you are still sick with the virus, you should wait until you have recovered and ended your isolation period. That’s at least five days. After that, you can get your booster shot (or your initial series of COVID-19 shots, if you still haven’t done so but want to). Here’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines: It may help you avoid a second infection. You can get COVID-19 more than once. But staying up-to-date on your shots may make you less likely to get COVID-19 again. And the vaccines can help prevent serious illness if you do get sick. Vaccination is the best protection. Compared to natural immunity, COVID-19 vaccines help your body make more antibodies and offer longer- lasting protection, CDC reports. If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, you can get your booster shot as soon as you’re done isolating. But waiting three months might make it more effective. Studies show that waiting that long after your positive COVID-19 test Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported— ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include: ● Fever or chills ● Cough ● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing ● Fatigue ● Muscle or body aches ● Headache ● New loss of taste or smell ● Sore throat ● Congestion or runny nose ● Nausea or vomiting ● Diarrhea (or the start of your symptoms) may increase your immune response to the vaccine. But you should take your personal risk into account before deciding whether to wait, CDC advises. For instance, it may not be a good idea to wait to get a booster if: ● You have underlying health conditions. ● The virus is surging in your community. 4 Focus Your Health