Health Commissioner Emphasizes that Those Who Have Antibodies Also Need Vaccination
By Yehudit Garmaise
Dave A. Chokshi, MD, the city’s health commissioner, emphasized today while COVID antibodies do provide some protection against future infection, “the issue is that we don’t know precisely the strength of that protection, nor the duration of that protection."
In addition, Mitch Katz, MD, the CEO of Health + Hospitals previously pointed out that COVID antibodies only can protect against the strains of COVID that first infected patients.
Therefore, previous infections cannot protect residents against the delta, mu, or other COVID variants.
“Vaccination is the clear recommendation, particularly in the context of the delta variant, which is much more contagious: everyone is at greater risk of infection, whether you have had prior infection or not,” said Dr. Chokshi. “So, that additional protection that vaccination affords is particularly important in the context of the delta variant.”
When BoroPark24 asked Dr. Chokshi to clarify the extent to which COVID antibodies can or cannot protect against future infection, the city’s health commissioner was clear that vaccination provides the maximum protection possible.
“Even if someone has had prior COVID-19 infection, our strong recommendation is that he or she get vaccinated,” said Dr. Chokshi, who had COVID in February and then got vaccinated a few months later to best protect himself and his wife and children.
“The reason for that is that we do have quite robust evidence that vaccination confers additional protection, even if you had previous infection,” he said.
Dr. Chokshi also told BoroPark24 that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study that found that unvaccinated people are 2.3 times more likely, than fully vaccinated people are, to get reinfected with the virus.
“The science is unequivocal,” said Dr. Chokshi, who has many times emphasized the safety of the vaccines, “with respect to the fact that vaccination has already saved lives in New York City in the various communities.
“I want to make sure that we extend that extra protection: as much as possible.”
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office