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VACCINE Q&A: Can I interact with someone who had COVID the same way I do with a vaccinated person?

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 6:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about interacting with those who are vaccinated versus those who are unvaccinated. You can find a full list of NBC15 Vaccine Team Q&A’s HERE.

CLICK HERE to submit your own question.

QUESTION:

Can I interact with a person who had COVID the same way I interact with a fully vaccinated person?

Christine

ANSWER: No.

Dr. Matt Anderson, UW Health’s Senior Medical Director of Primary Care, said a vaccinated person shouldn’t interact the same way with someone who had COVID-19, but is unvaccinated, as you they do with someone who is fully vaccinated.

He explained that someone who had COVID-19 may have some lasting immunity, but without being vaccinated they are at a greater risk for reinfection.

He also noted the difference in immunity between a vaccinated person and a person who had COVID-19.

“We know that vaccinated immunity is stronger and longer lasting than natural infection immunity and so from that standpoint if somebody is six months out from original COVID-19 infection, do they have some level of protection against COVID-19? Probably some. Does that mean they can’t get infected or that they should be viewed equally? As far as risk goes with somebody who is fully vaccinated, I would say the answer is no. They are probably a higher risk exposure within that,” said Dr. Anderson.

If you’re gathering in a group that is a blend of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the CDC recommends both vaccinated and unvaccinated people mask up if indoors. If you are outdoors, it is recommended that those who are unvaccinated wear a mask.

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