Home / News / India /  COVID: How long immunity from previous infection actually lasts?

In the last two-and-half years, we have witnessed several waves of COVID infections followed by a temporary lull. Experts are of the opinion once an individual is infected with the virus, he/she remains protected from it for some time but, there was always a question about how long the immunity stays. A new study can provide you with answers to that: 

What is COVID reinfection? 

After recovering from COVID, if you are infected with the virus after a certain gap, it can be called  COVID reinfection. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) standardised that reinfection is when an individual tests positive for the virus on two separate occasions in an interval of 102 days with a negative test result in between.

In earlier research conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), out of the 1300 cases, 58 or 4.5% cases were termed as possible reinfections. 

As per US CDC, studies are still undergoing to understand several aspects of COVID reinfection. These include: i) How often reinfections occur ii) Who is at higher risk of reinfection iii) How soon reinfections take place after a previous infection iv) The severity (how serious the infection is) of reinfections compared with initial (the first) infections v)The risk of transmission to others after reinfection

How long COVID immunity lasts?

A new study by University College London (UCL), published in Lancet Healthy Longevity, points out that immunity from COVID infection lasts for 10 months. 

For the study, the researchers looked into the reports of 682 care home residents, with a median age of 86, and 1,429 staff in care homes. Almost 85% of the infected had lesser chance getting reinfected. 

Maria Krutikov of the UCL Institute of Health Informatics, the lead researcher of the study, said, "It’s really good news that natural infection protects against reinfection in this time period. The risk of being infected twice appears to be very low."

"The fact that prior COVID-19 infection gives a high level of protection to care home residents is also reassuring, given past concerns that these individuals might have less robust immune responses associated with increasing age," she added.


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