Unvaccinated Adults Who Had Virus Face Risk of Reinfection, C.D.C. Says
People who have been infected with the coronavirus but do not get a vaccine may be more than twice as likely to be re-infected as those who have tested positive and have boosted their natural immunity with a vaccine, according to a small study who assessed the likelihood of re-infection.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at the risk of re-infection in May and June among hundreds of Kentucky residents who tested positive for the virus in 2020.
Those who were not vaccinated this year faced a 2.34 higher risk of re-infection than those who were vaccinated. Released on Friday, the study suggests that for those who had overcome an infection, the addition of a vaccine offered better protection than the natural immunity generated by their initial fight with the virus alone.
Even though the study only looked at a small number of people in Kentucky, it would appear to counter the argument of one of its original U.S. senators, Rand Paul, who has repeatedly claimed that vaccination was not necessary for people like him who had the virus. and developed immunity.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said the data reinforced the importance of vaccination, even for those who had previously had the virus.
“If you have ever had Covid-19, please still get the vaccine,” Dr Walensky said. “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others, especially as the most contagious Delta variant is spreading across the country.”
Study authors have warned that it is still not known how long natural immunity to the virus lasts and that genomic sequencing to confirm re-infections among people in the study has not been performed. .
The CDC and the Biden administration have led an aggressive campaign to increase vaccinations in recent weeks as cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed in the past month, largely due to the Delta variant, and particularly in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.
Over the past week, the number of new cases of the virus reported each day averaged 100,200 as of Thursday, the first time the daily average has exceeded 100,000 since mid-February, according to a database from the New York Times.
Another study published on Friday reported that vaccinations significantly reduced Covid hospitalizations among the elderly in February, March and April. The study looked at data from 7,280 patients from a Covid hospitalization monitoring network, using state records to examine their immunization status. The vast majority of hospitalized patients had not been vaccinated or were only partially vaccinated; only 5 percent were fully immunized.
Although the vaccination did not completely eliminate infections, the risk of being hospitalized was significantly lower for those who were fully vaccinated. Among 65- to 74-year-olds, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of Covid-related hospitalization by 96% and the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine reduced hospitalizations by 84%. In the 75 and over age group, Pfizer vaccination reduced hospitalizations by 91%; the Moderna vaccine by 96%; and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by 85 percent.
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