Vaccination Vs. Previous COVID-19 Infection: Which Provides Better Protection?

Previous COVID-19 infection may provide the body with protection against SARS-CoV-2, but it wouldn’t be on the same level as the type of protection vaccination gives, a new study has revealed. 

Protection From Past Infection

The idea of gaining immunity against a pathogen after overcoming an infection is not new. This adaptive immunity is what applies to most transmissible diseases, so hearing about people having some sort of defense against COVID-19 reinfection shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

A study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ in January showed that a past coronavirus infection could provide up to 83% protection against reinfection. However, the researchers who conducted the study also learned that this type of protection against SARS-CoV-2 is only available for around five months. 

Furthermore, even though a COVID-19 survivor has protection against reinfection, they are still able to carry the virus in their nose and throat and transmit it to other people, according to the study that was conducted on thousands of healthcare workers. 

Protection From COVID-19 Vaccination

In late October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted a new study that compared the immunity provided by a previous infection to the immunity vaccination gives. Apparently, scientists found that the latter is more favorable than the former. 

After reviewing data from more than 7,000 people across 9 states who were hospitalized due to COVID-like illness, scientists discovered that those who were unvaccinated and had a previous infection were five times more likely to be reinfected than those who got the COVID-19 jabs and did not have a prior infection. 

The public health agency stated that the study basically demonstrated that vaccination provides a “higher, more robust and more consistent level of immunity” against COVID-19 for at least six months compared to a past infection. Second doses and boosters also extend the efficacy of the vaccines. 

“We now have additional evidence that reaffirms the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, even if you have had prior infection. This study adds more to the body of knowledge demonstrating the protection of vaccines against severe disease from COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said. 

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