Covid-19 jab does not instantly protect you – here’s how long it takes to kick in

You can still catch Covid-19 even if you’ve had the vaccine

22 July 2021 - 06:00
Dr Susan Louw says there is 'definite evidence' the vaccine protects most people from falling seriously ill should they contract Covid-19. Stock photo.
Dr Susan Louw says there is 'definite evidence' the vaccine protects most people from falling seriously ill should they contract Covid-19. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/milkos

Many people are familiar with the mind tricks Covid-19 can play on us. How many times have you been convinced you contracted the coronavirus because you felt a scratch in your throat, only to be perfectly healthy?

That said, you can’t be too careful because even if you’ve had the vaccine, you can still catch Covid-19.

It’s also possible that you may have been infected with the coronavirus prior to having the jab but weren’t aware you had it.

Furthermore, Dr Susan Louw, a haematopathologist at SA’s National Health Laboratory Service, explains there’s a window period after receiving the vaccine in which your body has to mount an immune response to Covid-19 to protect you from it.

“It takes about two to three weeks for your body to get the army of antibodies ready to fight Covid-19,” she said.

During this time, you’re not going to have more protection against the coronavirus than someone who is not vaccinated.

That’s why it’s important to remain vigilant and, if you think you may have Covid-19, to seek medical advice and take care not to infect others.

The good news is that once the vaccine has done its job, Louw reassured there is “definite evidence” that it “protects most people against becoming severely ill from Covid-19”.


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