The immunity acquired after a natural infection is short-lived and remaining unvaccinated may increase the risk of reinfection. COVID-19, suggests a study published in the journal The Lancet Microbe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much uncertainty about how long immunity lasts after an unvaccinated person becomes infected with SARS-CoV-2.
“Re-infection can happen in three months or less,” said lead author Jeffrey Townsend, a professor of biostatistics in the Yale School of Public Health.
“Therefore, those who have become naturally infected should get vaccinated. Previous infection alone may provide little long-term protection against subsequent infections,” Townsend said.
The team analyzed known re-infection and immunological data from close viral relatives of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the “common cold” – as well as immunological data from SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Taking advantage of evolutionary principles, the team was able to model the risk of reinfection of COVID-19 over time.
Re-infection can and does occur shortly after recovery. And they will rapidly return to normal as immunity wanes and new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge.
Alex Dornberg, assistant professor of bioinformatics and genomics at the University of the North, said: “We tend to think of immunity as immunity or immunity. Our study warns that we may need to focus more on the risk of reinfection over time.” should do.” Carolina in Charlotte.
He said, “As new variants emerge, previous immune responses become less effective at fighting off the virus. People who were naturally infected early in the epidemic are more likely to become infected again in the near future.” is,” he said.
The team’s data-driven model reveals striking similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and endemic coronaviruses to the risks of reinfection over time.
Townsend said, “Like the common cold, you can get re-infected with the same virus from one year to the next. The difference is that, during the outbreak of this pandemic, COVID-19 has proven to be far more deadly. “
“Because of SARS-CoV-2’s ability to evolve and become re-infected, it also has the potential to transition from an epidemic to an endemic disease,” Dornberg said.