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Doctors urge those who have had COVID to still to get the vaccine

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With the positive rate of COVID-19 tests in Sedgwick County at 7.8%, the highest since late January, local health experts continue to stress the importance of the vaccine.

Dr. Tom Moore, an infectious disease specialist, said one common reason people cite for not getting vaccinated is the belief they already have natural immunity from contracting the virus.

“Six months ago, it was possible to say if you have had the virus, you don’t need the vaccine,” Moore said. “The problem is in that time period, these new variants have emerged, and they are much more infectious and much deadlier now than they were before.”

Dr. Moore said immunity from natural infection is believed to last around six months while the vaccine lasts nine months.

“The vaccine protects against variants circulating such as the delta and delta plus better than natural infections,” Moore said. “That’s data that’s published in Science Translational Medicine.”

Moore said the percentage of vaccinated people admitted to Wesley Medical Center is less than 1%. In contrast, the percentage of people admitted who have had COVID before but are not vaccinated is higher.

“We are seeing hospitalizations in people that have been naturally infected that have recovered from COVID once to get it later,” he said. “We have not seen any hospitalizations in people who have been naturally infected and have the vaccine.”

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