Those who have recovered from COVID-19 are also encouraged to get vaccinated, especially when the extra-contagious Delta variant is spreading and a recent study suggests that those who ignore this advice are more than twice as likely to relapse. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr Rochelle Walensky stated, "If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious delta variant spreads around the country."
Hundreds of Kentucky people who had previously contracted COVID-19 were studied by the CDC. After infection, some people elected to get vaccinated, while others did not. It was discovered that those who had not been vaccinated had 2.34 times the chance of being infected again than those who had been properly vaccinated. According to the findings, becoming completely vaccinated provides an additional level of protection against reinfection if a person has previously contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
The findings also back up the CDC's advice that everyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine should be given it, regardless of whether they have already been infected with the virus. Rush University researchers discovered in a second study published on Friday in JAMA Network Open that just one vaccination dose gives previously infected patients a substantial boost in virus-fighting immune cells, far more than people who have never been infected get from two shots.
Other recent studies published in Science and Nature reveal that a prior infection combined with vaccination broadens people's protection against a changing virus. It's what virologist Shane Crotty of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California refers to as "hybrid immunity." Vaccinated survivors can produce antibodies that recognise all types of variants, even if they have never been exposed to the variant, according to Crotty. "It's quite delightful."
Natural immunity varies from person to person, presumably depending on how unwell they were, to begin with. Four of 29 previously infected people had no detectable antibodies before being vaccinated, according to the Rush University study, and the vaccines worked for them just like they did for people who had never had COVID-19.
Because of the Delta variant's high infectiousness, Shane Crotty says that getting vaccinated despite a previous illness "is more important now than it was before to be sure."
(Inputs from AP News)