Vaccinating after an infection

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In summary, getting an mRNA vaccine after a previous infection with COVID-19 can provide long-lasting immunity and increase the levels of antibodies specifically targeting the spike protein. This can also provide protection against future variants of the virus and other similar viruses. Additionally, the vaccine does not affect the broad virus recognition acquired from infection.
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Since the time has come for me to consider a single shot of either the pfizer or moderna vaccine I was wondering can someone more knowledgeable please explain to me , how exactly does the vaccine change the antibodies already present in my system?

I myself from the information I have understand that for someone who has had a previous infection there are antibodies to all the parts of the virus not just the spike protein while vaccinating with the mRNA vaccines produce antibodies to specifically the spike protein since that is the only protein being made by cells due to vaccine administration.
So would this then mean that for me having had a previous infection I will have the same levels of antibodies already present to the virus but an increased count of antibodies to the spike protein which I have already but at a lower level?

Does the administering of the vaccine in a previous infection case in any way affect the levels of antibodies (apart from spike protein) that are already present in my system ?
 
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There are two studies that address this:

Nature, June 14, 2021
The data suggest that immunity in convalescent individuals will be very long lasting and that convalescent individuals who receive available mRNA vaccines will produce antibodies and memory B cells that should be protective against circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
"convalescent individuals" = people who had been infected

Preprint server bioRxiv, August 8, 2021
Strikingly however, plasma from individuals who had been infected and subsequently received mRNA vaccination, neutralized this highly resistant SARS-CoV-2 polymutant, and also neutralized diverse sarbecoviruses. Thus, optimally elicited human polyclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 should be resilient to substantial future SARS-CoV-2 variation and may confer protection against future sarbecovirus pandemics.

That first study basically says that following up an infection with an mRNA vaccine is a really good thing.

If I understand that second study correctly, it seems to be saying that your immune experience with the virus itself will change the immune response to the spike protein you generate with the vaccine - so that it is not only sensitive to the spike proteins it has encountered (from infection and vaccination), but to many variations in that protein. So if the normal response to a vaccination is a wanted poster describing a particular gang member, the enhanced response would be like a wanted poster describing how to recognize anyone in that gang.

To answer your question more directly, I can't tell from those studies (and others I've read) what the mRNA does to the "broad" virus recognition that you get from infection. Apparently, it does nothing. But the specific response to the COVID-19 spike protein (and apparently variations to that protein) is powerfully enhanced.
 
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In the second study @.Scott posted above, antibodies against the different SARS Coranavirus well as other known variant's epitopes were activated, not merely currently prevalent variants. So. Those epitopes were not actually in the vaccine. Consider your shot to be kind of a universal SARS vaccine.

So short answer: yes, you get extra protection.
 
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Related to Vaccinating after an infection

1. Can I still get vaccinated if I have already had the infection?

Yes, it is recommended to still get vaccinated even if you have previously had the infection. This is because the immunity gained from the infection may not be long-lasting or strong enough to protect against future infections.

2. How long should I wait after an infection to get vaccinated?

The recommended waiting period varies depending on the type of infection. In general, it is advised to wait until you have fully recovered and your symptoms have subsided before getting vaccinated. It is best to consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

3. Will getting vaccinated after an infection make me sick again?

No, getting vaccinated after an infection will not make you sick again. Vaccines are made from weakened or inactive forms of the virus or bacteria, so they cannot cause the infection. However, you may experience mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever.

4. Do I need to get vaccinated if I have natural immunity from a previous infection?

Yes, it is still recommended to get vaccinated even if you have natural immunity from a previous infection. Vaccines provide a more reliable and longer-lasting protection against the disease compared to natural immunity.

5. Is it safe to get vaccinated after an infection?

Yes, it is generally safe to get vaccinated after an infection. However, if you are currently experiencing symptoms or have a weakened immune system, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.

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