Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Among some of the scientific mysteries presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, recent studies demonstrating increased reinfection rates of 5-50% within four to seventeen months after initial infection are troubling. This is significant information, specifically for those who have previously been infected and decided not to get vaccinated, assuming they will have enough protection from natural immunity.
To model how viral traits have evolved, scientists built a viral tree with combined genetic data from SARS-CoV-2, three endemic coronaviruses, and two closely related coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV)—revealing the immunity elicited by natural infection is short-lived. Another study from the CDC demonstrated that individuals previously infected with COVID-19 who were not vaccinated following infection were more than twice as likely to get reinfected compared to those who were infected and got vaccinated.
As newer evidence suggests people who were naturally infected, recovered, and then vaccinated elicit the 'super-immunity' and might even be protected against future variants of coronaviruses, scientists highly encourage previously infected individuals to get vaccinated as soon as possible to potentially become ‘super-protected.'
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