The possibility of coronavirus reinfection has been a concern since the first reports of people getting sick again began popping up in 2020 ― while many around the globe were still in isolation. But there has been relatively little data up until this point on how widespread a phenomenon this is.
The first large-scale investigation to tackle that question was published in The Lancet this week, and it found that the vast majority of people who have had COVID-19 are indeed protected from catching it again — for at least six months. However, people ages 65 and older are far more likely than younger individuals to experience repeat infection.
The researchers analyzed data from Denmark’s national COVID-19 testing program, which has offered free PCR testing to roughly 4 million people living in the country. Overall, they found that a very small percentage of the population — 0.65% — experienced reinfection.
For those 65 and under, getting the coronavirus once provided roughly 80% protection against reinfection. But for people 65 and older, it provided only about 47% protection against getting COVID-19 again, further highlighting how dangerous this disease can be for older adults.
“Since older people are also more likely to experience severe disease symptoms and, sadly, die, our findings make clear how important it is to implement policies to protect the elderly during the pandemic,” Steen Ethelberg, the study’s author from the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, said in a statement. “Given what is at stake, the results emphasize how important it is that people adhere to measures implemented to keep themselves and others safe — even if they have already had COVID-19.”….. Continue Reading……