BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Health Department is working to conserve available COVID-19 vaccine doses for those who need them most.
The health department is asking people who recently recovered from the virus to hold off on getting vaccinated.
"At a time when we have very little vaccine supply we are asking people who have been infected in the last 90 days to delay their vaccine appointment," said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Burstein said those who've had the virus recently have natural immunity protecting them from future infection, which is something University at Buffalo's Chief of Infectious Disease Dr. Thomas Russo agrees with.
"Our present data supports that if someone has been infected with the new coronavirus that natural infection will give that individual protection for at least three months and likely up to six months," Russo said.
"Right now you are protected and with the short supply, small supply we are asking you to step aside so those with no natural immunity can get vaccinated," Burstein said.
Russo warned though, that even if you've had COVID-19 you still need to strictly follow public health measures
"Even if you have immunity from new coronavirus due to natural infection or vaccination it is still critical to continue at this point to use masks and physically distance because there is a small and finite chance that you can develop asymptomatic infection or mild infection and then pose an infectious risk to others," Russo said.
After the 90 day window since contracting the virus, if you are eligible, Burstein said you should schedule an appointment for a vaccination.