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Health Officials To Everyone In LA: Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine. Yes, Even If You Already Had The Virus

Barbara Ferrer wears her ID and a Dodgers mask, flanked by two health workers in white coats at a street fair in Watts, as another person takes a picture of them with a cell phone.
Dr. Jerry Abraham of Kedren Health takes a photo of Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer (C) with health care workers during a Covid-19 mobile vaccine clinic at last weekend's Watts Juneteenth Street Fair.
AFP via Getty Images)
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L.A. County health officials are renewing the call for everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine — even if you've already been infected.

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Medical experts overwhelmingly agree that getting one of the three available vaccines is a safer and vastly more effective means of protection than relying on a previous infection to keep you from getting sick again. The push comes in part to counteract anti-vaccine fringe groups that say the human body's natural defense mechanisms are enough to fight off the virus.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer debunked that claim during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting:

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"While it is true that people who have been infected with COVID have some natural immunity, the unfortunate reality is that immunity wears off," she said. "And we're not exactly sure, for each individual person, when it's going to wear off. So it's really important that people do come in and get vaccinated."

Ferrer also dismissed anecdotes from people who claim they've been around infected people but were never infected — pointing to the fact that people with the coronavirus often don't exhibit symptoms.

She also noted that unvaccinated people are particularly vulnerable to new viral mutations, especially the fast-spreading Delta variant, which she called the "most infectious variant that has been identified to date here in California."

What questions do you have about vaccines?