COVID-19 reinfections: Updated

Archive, Month, October

Natural immunity doesn’t protect as well or as long as vaccine immunity.

The results of a recent study showed that natural immunity against COVID-19 begins to wane soon after recovery and does not offer very strong protection against the virus (especially its variants) when compared to immunity obtained through vaccination.

There has been much discussion concerning the need for one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines after a COVID-19 infection and recovery, knowing the body’s immune system had naturally developed antibodies. (There were reported cases of COVID-19 reinfection since the summer of 2020.)

A team of researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte analyzed COVID-19 reinfection cases and immunology data and were able to determine that reinfections can happen shortly after a COVID-19 recovery.

Those same researchers also concluded that reinfections will become increasingly more common with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.

Published in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed general medicine journal, the study also determined that reinfection can occur within just a few months after recovery in the unvaccinated.

For those who have been vaccinated, regardless of whether he or she has had COVID-19 or not, strong protection is significantly longer lasting — even stronger and longer with a third, “booster” dose of the vaccine.

Fully vaccinated individuals (those who received their final dose two weeks prior) are more than 90 percent protected against the virus, and more than 95 percent protected against developing severe symptoms leading to hospitalization.

More than eight months later, the vaccines still demonstrated a protection level of nearly 80 percent, and it was also significantly effective against the highly contagious delta variant.

This study bolsters the case of public health and medical professionals who have urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated, and who are also now urging those eligible to get their booster.


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