Encouraging News about the Risk of COVID-19 Reinfection

The Doctors

There is encouraging news for people who have already contracted COVID-19 regarding reinfection.

The results of the first large-scale study on COVID reinfection were released this week and it found the overwhelming majority of people infected with COVID were protected from catching the virus again for at least 6 months.

The study looked at 4 million people in Denmark during 2 time periods in the pandemic: March 2020 to May 2020, and September 2020 to December 31, 2020. Of the 4 million, 11,068  tested positive during the initial surge and only 72 were reinfected with the virus, and the majority of the 72 reinfected people were over the age of 65.

According to the study, those over the age of 65 are approximately 47 percent protected from reinfection, and those younger than 65 have 80 percent protection. The study attributes the difference in reinfection rates to older individuals usually having a weaker immune system and being more likely to develop severe disease.

"Our study confirms what a number of others appeared to suggest: reinfection with COVID-19 is rare in younger, healthy people, but the elderly are at greater risk of catching it again," Dr. Steen Ethelberg, an author of the study, stated. "Since older people are also more likely to experience severe disease symptoms, and sadly die, our findings make clear how important it is to implement policies to protect the elderly during the pandemic."

Dr. Ethelberg stressed it is vital that people continue to wear a mask, social distance, and get vaccinated when they are able to, in order to protect this vulnerable group.

"Given what is at stake, the results emphasize how important it is that people adhere to measures implemented to keep themselves and others safe, even if they have already had COVID-19," he added.

More: Considering Travel? How COVID-19 Will Still Affect Your Trip

More: Are the COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Worse for Women?

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