If you have had Covid-19 and survived, it is hard not to feel somewhat invincible. The chances of getting the virus again are obviously going to be lower, particularly as you are vaccinated. We are sorry to break it to you, but even if you have been through a severe case of the virus and are fully vaccinated and have your boosters, it is not true that you will never get it again.
According to experts, you are not immune from reinfection just because you have had the virus and are fully vaccinated. There have been many cases where people have contracted the virus even when fully vaccinated after having it the first time. There is also some evidence that suggests if you are unvaccinated and had Covid-19 already that you could be at greater risk of contracting it again.
In the following post, we are going to discuss this subject in a bit more detail.
Why It’s Possible to Get the Virus Again
Reinfection is possible and more cases are being seen this late on in the pandemic compared to when it began. The reasons for reinfection include the following:
- The pandemic has been happening for a long time now – As many of the people who had contracted the virus did so early in the pandemic, those infections and any immunity they offered have waned as time has passed.
- Immunity from vaccines reduces over time – For people who received their first injections as early back as 2020, the immunity those jabs offered will be waning now in 2022. That is why people were encouraged to get their third booster.
- We Are Being Less Careful – As things have progressed and restrictions have been lifted, the attitude of many has changed towards the vigilance most had at the start of the pandemic. Social distancing, handwashing and masking are not as fervently followed and those were the things that kept the virus under control to some degree.
- Newer Variants, Like Omicron, Are Far More contagious – There have been a lot of variants that have emerged since 2020 that are more contagious and infectious than the original virus.
When you consider the bigger picture and the fact that all four of those elements are working together, it’s not hard to see why many people are reinfected with Covid-19.
Are the Covid-19 Variants the Main Cause of Reinfection?
According to reports, the Delta variant of Covid is twice as infectious as other variants and Omicron recently became the dominant variant in the UK. That is considered even more infectious than Delta.
The interesting thing is that despite all these variants, Covid-19 does not mutate as much as other viruses like influenza. The flu changes almost everything about its overall appearance every year. It’s really Covid-19’s infectiousness that makes it infectious.
Who is Most at Risk of Reinfection?
At this stage in the pandemic, it is now understood that anyone, unvaccinated or vaccinated, people who have had it already and people who haven’t can get the coronavirus. Therefore, really, anyone can be reinfected with Covid-19.
Although we are still learning about reinfections and the people who are at a greater risk of reinfections, some people are more at risk than others.
Reinfection In Unvaccinated People
Many people who have had the virus but are still unvaccinated reason that they don’t need the vaccination because they are protected. However, that is not the case as it actually increases your chances if you have had the virus before and have not been vaccinated. Vaccination has been proven to provide longer protection compared to natural infection.
Reinfection in People Who Are Immunocompromised
As has been the case with the first waves of infection, people who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk than other members of the public of reinfection. Even after the first vaccination, because they have a less effective response to vaccination, they are more likely to be reinfected. That is why the booster jabs were offered to them first, to reduce the chances of that happening.
What can we conclude from these findings? The simple fact is that reinfection is always a possibility, and vaccination or natural infection will not prevent it from happening. Nothing is 100% foolproof. Even fully vaccinated people with the booster too could still be reinfected with Covid-19. The best defence against severity and transmission is still vaccine though.