Miami Valley doctor weighs in on risk of catching COVID-19 more than once


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Health experts say while reinfection isn’t common right now, it can happen, and it’s likely reinfection cases will happen more as the pandemic continues.

“Immunity from a previous infection is just like immunity from a vaccine, it can wane, it can decrease,” Miami Valley Hospital chief medical officer Dr. Roberto Colon said.

Colon said right now, there’s conflicting studies on whether immunity from a COVID-19 infection lasts longer than vaccine immunity.

A kentucky study published by the CDC found those who got vaccinated have less risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19 compared to someone who is unvaccinted and already had COVID-19.

A recent study done in Israel found those who previously had COVID-19 were better protected against the delta variant than those who received the vaccine.

Colon said both studies can reach the same conclusions about two things.

“One, you have protection from both vaccine and previous infection, and you still can get reinfected again,” Colon said.

Colon said another aspect that factors in to the level of protection from a COVID-19 infection: the severity of the first covid-19 infection could impact how many antibodies it leaves behind.

“If you had only a mild case, it’s possible you had a very low amount of virus you got exposed to,” Colon said.

Colon said only time will tell if a COVID-19 reinfection comes with less or worse side effects than the first, so the best thing to do is get the vaccine.

“If you really want to protect yourself the most, and you were unfortunate enough to have COVID before, please get the vaccine,” Colon said.

The CDC says reinfections are to be expected, and they are actively working to learn more its effects.

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