People may get vaccinated immediately after completing isolation after recovering from COVID-19

As of 25 June, the Ministry of Health has cancelled the 90-day period during which people who have recovered from COVID-19 were unable to reserve a vaccination appointment. The antibodies acquired by having suffered the disease are no longer a counter-indication for vaccination. The aim is to accelerate the vaccination of this sizable population group due to the incidence of virus variants. 

In practice, this means that people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days can register following isolation, and can book an appointment after receiving the SMS with PIN 2. To date, these people could only perform the first step in the period of 90 days from the last positive PCR test, and the system only allowed them to book an appointment after three months. Experts from the Ministry of Health have now agreed that there is no reason to prolong this organisational measure. “Especially with regard to the incidence of variants, we and the expert team at the Ministry have reassessed the current restriction on vaccination for persons who have recovered from COVID-19. The available vaccines are even effective against the variants and we want these people to be better protected,” explained Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch. 

Moreover, based on available data, there is still no clear limit on a sufficient amount of antibodies, and it is uncertain how quickly these naturally-acquired antibodies diminish. Therefore, it is unwise to rely on the fact that people are adequately protected against reinfection after recovering from the disease. “From an expert perspective, there is nothing to prevent people who have recovered from coronavirus from being vaccinated as soon as their isolation is over and their health allows it,” said Martina Vašáková, Deputy for Healthcare and Head of the Clinical Group at the Ministry of Health, who confirmed this attitude towards antibodies. The Ministry of Health recommends consulting one’s health with a physician before undergoing vaccination. 

“People should not rely merely on the antibodies they created when suffering the disease, and they should get vaccinated. The vaccines against COVID-19 are very effective, as they ensure almost 100% protection for at least a number of months. It is apparent in the very low figures of persons infected after vaccination. At present, we do not know how long natural antibodies protect a person; it largely depends on the severity of the illness, the person’s overall condition, genetic material and current condition of their immune system. For this reason, we recommend early vaccination even for those who have recovered from the disease,” emphasized Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Pavla Svrčinová. 

It is not necessary to get tested for antibodies before vaccination. The only qualified reason for antibody testing is to donate convalescent plasma and a diagnostic analysis of a person with a diagnosis corresponding to COVID-19, e.g. an x-ray, but without a prior positive test for COVID-19.