Coronavirus: Should you get a COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve tested positive for antibodies?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A viewer reached out to Action News Jax because he says he tested positive for antibodies, and wonders if that natural immunity is enough to protect him from COVID-19.

Our medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino weighs in.

66-year-old Bob D. reached out to Action News Jax because he says he and his wife experienced COVID-19 symptoms in December.

“The cough, the fatigue, the loss of taste, the sore throat, congestion, runny nose and I got the ... fever as well,” he described.

Once they recovered, they got tested for antibodies a month later, and results came back positive.

“It was sort of an aha! moment,” he said. “Like, ‘Aha! That’s what it was!’”

As of last Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reports 1,036,414 people have been tested for antibodies across the state, and 200,340 of those tests have come back positive.

For Bob, a bigger question remains: “I have the natural antibodies; is it necessary for me to get the vaccine as well?”

Action News Jax medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino says yes because over time, the immunity a vaccine provides is more consistent than natural immunity, which lasts at least three months.

“We recommend that you get vaccinated because once you are vaccinated then we know you will have definite immunity, and we have a better idea of how long that immunity is going to last,” Dr. Aquino explained.

Bob says he’ll listen to medical experts, and he doesn’t mind the lines if it means getting the vaccine to keep his family safe.

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“[My wife and I] would be open to doing that,” he added.

Dr. Aquino says studies from Pfizer and Moderna are following patients to figure out how long immunity lasts after their vaccines, but she says this immunity will still be more reliable than natural antibodies, which vary a lot from person to person.