A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that COVID-19 vaccines offer better and more protection against reinfection of the virus than just natural immunity among those who already have been infected.
On Friday, Aug. 6, the CDC released the findings of a new study of nearly 1,000 Americans who previously tested positive for COVID-19 but remained unvaccinated.
According to the study, those who were unvaccinated proved to be more than twice as likely to become infected for a second time than those who were fully vaccinated against the virus.
Researchers said that the test subjects were all 18 or older and had previous COVID-19 infections in 2020 before experiencing a second infection between May and June 2021, which aligns with the emergence and spread of the delta variant.
The findings found that the vaccination serves as an extra layer of protection against reinfection, even among those who had already contracted COVID-19. The study comes as the country contends with the more transmissible Delta strain, which has caused the number of new cases to surge in recent weeks.
In all, those involved in the study who were not vaccinated had 2.34 times the odds of reinfection compared to those who were fully vaccinated, according to the report.
"If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious delta variant spreads around the country.”
In the study, researchers also made note that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 96 percent effective in adults between the ages of 65 and 74, and more than 90 percent in the elderly over the age of 75.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has shown to be 85 percent effective in both of those age groups.
The new study adds to existing evidence that found vaccinated people who get infected are more likely to have milder and shorter illnesses compared to the unvaccinated.
“People should be reassured that if they are fully vaccinated that they are very likely, highly likely, to be protected against severe or critical illness, the kind of illness that would cause them to be hospitalized or killed by this virus,” Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told The Washington Post. “Vaccines save your life.”
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