Already Had A COVID-19 Infection Or Think You Did? Don’t Rush To Get The Vaccine — It May Not Be Safe For You.

A COVID-19 patient in prone position and on supplemental oxygen in a hospital. Most such patients recover. But in my opinion, such patients and even those with asymptomatic infections should not be getting indiscriminately vaccinated, even after they’ve recovered from active infection.

America is in the midst of doing something both remarkable and unprecedented.

We have created powerful and effective vaccines against a pandemic virus in under a year — and we are aiming to vaccinate the majority of the population in under a year. This is a remarkable feat of scientific prowess — and we should all be proud of our nation and its scientific community for it.

Literally, the availability of these vaccine is similar to having placed a man on Mars in record time.

But, we are also doing something unprecedented and potentially dangerous: We are very literally indiscriminately vaccinating as many people as possible, as fast as possible in the midst of an outbreak.

This approach is unprecedented for a vaccine campaign in America, because normally we vaccinate the population when the level of community incidence of any given targeted infection is low to zero. So vaccines are normally injected into people who have not been infected by the microbes we target. In this way, when the vaccinated person does confront the microbe later on, they are able to fend it off without getting seriously ill — because they have vaccine immunity.

But in the COVID-19 pandemic, we are vaccinating the population indiscriminately and en masse, in a setting where many have been, or are, recently infected.

To be clear, about 10-20% of Americans have already been infected with COVID-19 — either symptomatically or asymptomatically. That’s 1 to 2 out of every ten Americans already infected since Spring 2020.

It is my opinion, as a physician and immunologist, that such recently infected persons are at high risk of experiencing difficult side-effects or of being harmed by the vaccine immune response, when immunized.

I’ve shared this serious concern with the leadership of FDA, CDC, Pfizer and Moderna — with little to no action resulting to date. You may read my public letter to these entities HERE.

I state the above, because I know, as a matter of scientific principle, that once a person is naturally infected by a virus (any virus), antigens from that virus persist in the body for very long after viral replication has stopped and clinical signs of infection have resolved. So, when a vaccine reactivates an immune response in such recently infected persons, the tissues harboring the persisting viral antigen are targeted, inflamed and damaged by the immune response.

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, we know that the virus naturally infects the heart, the inner lining of blood vessels, the lungs and the brain. So, these are likely to be some of the critical organs that will contain persistent viral antigens in the recently infected — AND, following reactivation of the immune system by a vaccine, these tissues can be expected to be targeted and damaged.

If young and otherwise healthy persons, recently infected, could tolerate such an adverse side-effects of the vaccine, it is highly likely that many of the elderly and frail, or those with serious cardiovascular risk factors, would not.

So, I feel obliged to suggest, as a physician and immunologist, that any persons with “known or suspected” COVID-19 infections avoid or delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Certainly, any elderly and frail persons and those with cardiovascular — or any person who suspects having been exposed to COVID-19 — should be screened for the virus and for COVID-19 IgG antibodies. If either of these screening tests are positive, these persons ought to delay or avoid being vaccinated.

Indiscriminate deployment of a vaccine treatment in the midst of an outbreak is highly likely to be a clinical and scientific error — and the United States public health agencies are allowing this error to occur, unmitigated.

Therefore, it is necessary for all responsible citizens and professionals to carefully consider whether naturally infected persons should get vaccinated indiscriminately.

For the reasons I’ve delineated above, it is my opinion that the recently infected should be excluded from vaccination — and if they have IgG antibodies in their blood, they could safely be assumed to have acquired immunity to the virus.

The prognosticated risk of harm caused by indiscriminate vaccination of the infected is real and scientifically irrefutable at present.

Simply because up to 20% of Americans are the recently infected, and since this proportion of the naturally infected is increasing daily, it is critical that we not allow our public health agencies, our healthcare practitioners — nor ourselves and our loved ones — to just assume that it is safe to get vaccinated in the setting of recent infection.

My suggestion is that you #ScreenB4Vaccine, and ONLY if positive, delay or forego vaccination in the near future.

I write in friendship and in defense of public health in the US and globally.

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD


Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD is a physician-scientist. He is an advocate for ethics, patient safety and women’s health. He and his 6 children live in Pennsylvania.

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