Covid-19 reinfections are rare according to a large Denmark study, and some practical advice to keep you healthy.
The race is on to vaccinate the USA and beyond. Despite what you have heard about variants and such, The vast majority of people are shielded from secondary Covid-19 reinfection as reported by the NY Times.
A Danish study reports that prior infection with the coronavirus reduced the chances of a second bout by about 80 percent in people under 65, but only by about half in those older than 65..”
Should you worry about reinfection if you are older? Reinfections tend to be either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic in those who have a healthy functioning immune system because the immune system will suppress the virus.
While the push to vaccinate those who have already had the virus may further improve these numbers, there is a concern regarding variants that may evade your immune system by looking different to your body. Are these concerns warranted?
The more of us who either had the virus or have had a vaccination or both, the closer we come to herd immunity and the fewer variants of the virus will develop over time.
International immunity resulting from vaccination and natural immunity is how the world can prevent many future variants. Sometime in the next month or two, the US will have more than enough doses to vaccinate everyone and it is likely we will either sell or donate what we have to other countries so they can also be part of the herd. Eventually, herd immunity will minimize the effect of the virus and infections will become rare. The few who are reinfected who are vaccinated or have natural immunity are most likely to suffer symptoms similar to a common cold.
I never offer opinions as I want people to read the information and formulate their own based on the best available evidence. Regarding Covid-19, there is a lot of misinformation designed to scare you. The faster way out of this pandemic is for us to all become immune and to again feel comfortable around each other. My recommendations below are evidence-based.
Dr. C’s opinion; Stop worrying about variants or those who have not been vaccinated yet, Most Americans are likely to vaccinate to make travel easier with immunity passports or waivers which will also allow us to go to concerts, attend sporting events, and for peace of mind. Those who have already had covid-19 and recovered are just as immune as those who had the vaccine according to a recent Oxford University Study. The obsession with how long antibodies last is a foolish one, as immunity has a long-term effect that can last years. If you have natural immunity, you and those who have had the vaccine are part of the solution.
Those who have not yet been exposed to the virus are likely to eventually get it and the large majority will get through the illness in a week or so. While we do not know or understand everything about the long-term side effects it can cause, it is my recommendation that you get vaccinated as supplies become more plentiful in the near future.
The long game is to have most of us either recover from the virus or get vaccinated or both to achieve herd immunity internationally. This will reduce the likelihood of a variant that can evade our immunity.
Our country will have more doses than needed and will likely donate those vaccines to other countries to help the world achieve immunity faster. This is the fastest way out of the pandemic.
If you had Covid-19, experts are suggesting you have the vaccine as well. While many have had the vaccine also, those who had the virus are more likely to have a stronger reaction to Moderna or Pfizer vaccines on the first dose which yesterday was reported to be 80% effective on the first dose by the CDC.
There is growing evidence that one of these vaccines may be all that was needed if you already recovered from the virus. France has already decided to make this a national policy but the CDC has not made a formal recommendation. It is likely that those who had the virus plus the vaccine are more immune than those who just had the vaccine so the current CDC and scientific community recommendations are likely redundant. Immunity is immunity.
We should get together in small groups for now as it is healthy for us to do so. In NJ and in other places around the country, governors are allowing larger gatherings as more of us become immune. Those who have no protection are at higher risk but if you are protected, you are safe and part of the solution. You are very unlikely to experience covid-19 reinfection and need to be comfortable with that. Wear a mask in public for now and follow the social rule and social order. Eventually, the masks can come off however they do reduce transmission which is still needed for now.
One last bit of advice; eat well and eat healthier. Get outside, take vitamin d and make sure your immune system has what it needs to keep you healthy. Metabolic syndrome is a huge problem in the USA and is a large risk factor for Covid-19. Vitamin D deficiency can be reduced by going outside and taking vitamin D3 supplementation which we carry in our offices. Healthy nutrition should be part of the current covid-19 conversation for now and for the future.
If you follow my advice, your likelihood of reinfection is very small. Be smart, be safe, and stay healthy.