Home/ News / World/  Omicron still re-infected those with early Covid cases: Study

People who got infected with Covid-19 during the early stages of the pandemic got re-infected when the omicron variant swept the world, according to a study.

As per the study by the University of Washington, researchers in Lancet mentioned that people infected with alpha, beta, and delta variants were only 36% better protected from reinfection with omicron. However, such patients were able to avoid hospitalization with omicron, and death, almost 90% of the time over the same period.

The findings are derived from a meta-analysis of 65 studies from 19 countries. The research may help health officials steer vaccination campaigns and form policy recommendations.

Further, those infected with pre-omicron variants are well protected against older variants but should still take steps to prevent reinfection, according to Stephen Lim, a professor and senior director at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and lead author of the report.

“It’s much more important for those individuals who were previously infected with a pre-omicron variant to be up to date on their vaccine schedules," Lim said.

Vaccinations are the best way to gain protection from the virus, particularly for people who are older or who have other health conditions, the researcher added. More than 6.8 million people have died from Covid since the pandemic started, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Separately, the study highlighted that the Covid infection gives similar immunity to vaccination.

The authors nevertheless emphasised that their findings should not discourage vaccination, which remains the safest way to get immunity.

The protection against Covid-19 from being previously infected lasts at least as long as that offered by vaccination, it said.

Ten months after getting Covid, people still had an 88 percent lower risk of reinfection, hospitalisation and death, it added.

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Updated: 17 Feb 2023, 08:15 AM IST
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