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'We can starve out the virus.' Immunity after second COVID-19 vaccine dose takes more than a week

TriStar Southern Hills
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 21:29:25-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For folks in the mid-state who received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it takes more than a week to develop immunity.

“They already have some immunity from getting the first vaccine, a little north of 50%," Dr. Tracy Osborne said.

The second dose gives people more than 90% immunity after a week according to Dr. Osborne. "So what our bodies are doing, is amplifying that response, so we’re ready for it because we got the first shot."

Dr. Osborne is an infectious disease specialist at TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center. She has received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and she had some minor side effects including a low-grade fever, headache, and muscle aches. This is actually good news, Dr. Tracy Osborne said, "and makes sense because these vaccines are ramming up our immune system."

Eventually, her body will develop immunity days after her second shot. This means she likely won't get extremely sick from COVID-19, or she won't get it at all if she's exposed to someone who has the disease. However, she said people shouldn't let their guard down. "They still need to protect themselves, and they still need to protect others," Dr. Osborne said.

Even with immunity, it's possible to spread germs and viruses to people who haven't been vaccinated yet. There’s still research being done on it every day. That's why medical workers will still mask-up and take precautions. "What we’re trying to do is use the vaccines to help protect us, and they do a very good job of that, they’re very safe, but we still need to add that extra layer of protection,” Dr. Tracy Osborne said, “Not only for ourselves but for others, so we can starve out the virus and move forward ending the pandemic."