Houston doctor explains what you need to know after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Over 1 million people have received their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.

As so many more wait to get their first shot, we have learned just because you get the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't mean you can't catch the virus.

ABC13 spoke with a doctor at Kelsey Seybold Clinics about what you need to know after you get the shot.

Can someone still get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine?

"The one dose of the vaccine is not 100% protective, even two doses is only 95% protective. So about 5% of people who get the vaccine may not get immunity. That's usually the fault of their own immune system," Kelsey Seybold Clinics Managing Physician of Infection Practices Dr. Melanie Mouzoon said.

Can there be any other reason you could get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine besides your own weakened immune system due to age or illness?

"It may be that the vaccine hasn't had time to take effect. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full effectiveness after a dose," Mouzoon said.

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If you get infected with COVID-19 after getting vaccinated, will you be protected against the worst symptoms?

"If you do get infected after having the vaccine, you're much more likely to have a mild case," Mouzoon said. "You're much less likely to be hospitalized, or to have severe illness, or to have prolonged illness."

You've had your first dose of the vaccine, and get COVID-19. Should you wait to get your second dose until you're not ill?

"We don't like to vaccinate people who are ill. So if you are running a fever or are not feeling well, you should wait until you're feeling better to get vaccinated," Mouzoon said. "You need to at least be recovering. The other issue is if you have had COVID-19 and you're trying to get your second dose, you don't want to be spreading COVID-19 among all the people at the vaccination center."

If you have to wait 14 days to get better before getting your second dose, could that mess up the chances it will fully protect you?

"We just know that window has been studied to produce good immunity, and in some vaccines, for example Hepatitis A, we want the booster dose to be six months later," Mouzoon said. "So there is an advantage in waiting longer for some vaccines, we just don't have the data on this vaccine to know if waiting on a longer period is better than a shorter period."

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Once you are vaccinated, can you still spread the virus?

"We don't know if people who have been immunized might still be able to spread this virus, so for the good of the community, please continue to wear your mask, please continue to avoid trips when possible, to really social distance, and to avoid crowded indoor spaces," Mouzoon said. "Even if you are vaccinated, you are not necessarily safe and others are not necessarily safe from you."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible.

However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

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