SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The COVID-19 vaccine gives many people hope, but not all the answers. Researchers still want to know how long people are protected after getting the shot.
"I am very excited to hopefully never get COVID again," said Carter Nacke. He caught COVID-19 back in January and gets his second dose of vaccine this week. "Hopefully it means I'm double, super immune, and I don't have to worry about this anymore," said Nacke.
Dr. Shad Marvasti said Nacke likely has extra antibodies, but the associate professor and Director of Public Health at UArizona College of Medicine Phoenix says researchers aren't positive how long that will last.
"We don't know beyond the six months, so that's the big question mark, I think right now, both vaccine and having recovered from infection," said Marvasti.
Any Lab Test Now in Scottsdale found many patients with that same question. "People want to know, even if it's four months after they've been vaccinated, they want to know if they still have antibodies or not," said Angela Garrett, Clinical Manager at Any Lab Test Now.
Garrett said the lab is seeing an influx in people coming in for the antibody test after getting vaccinated. "I wouldn't even consider it's something we need to do until the fall, and even then it's going to depend on the percentage of people vaccinated and how well we're doing in terms of cases of COVID in the community," said Dr. Marvasti. "...I think it depends on how quickly we can get to vaccinated herd immunity and whether we're able to wipe out COVID before then."
If you had COVID-19 already, Marvasti recommends getting vaccinated within three months. "Myself and my colleagues diagnose people with re-infections who were sick in June and July of last year," said Marvasti.
Even after Nacke is fully vaccinated, he plans to continue to social distance and practice safety measures. "We're on the last stretch of the race, and we can't give up now," said Nacke.