A study published in The Lancet magazine reveals the odds of COVID-19 reinfection .
Study reveals whether reinfections by the COVID-19 virus are possible. Photo: Freepik
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Listen to this article
Leer en español: ¿Es posible la reinfección del COVID-19?
The study, carried out by experts from Denmark's Statens Serum Institute and published in the British medical journal The Lancet, revealed that COVID-19 reinfections are highly unlikely, but are more common in people over the age of 65 . This study is very important to define if having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 is a guarantee of not being infected again.
NEW—Most people who have had original #COVID19 strain are protected from catching it again for at least 6 months—but those ≥65 years are more prone to reinfection, suggests first large-scale study of its kind. Read https://t.co/250Yv0a9BZ pic.twitter.com/BTjhcMzXwT— The Lancet (@TheLancet) March 17, 2021
The research was done based on PCR tests carried out in Denmark during 2020 where those who tested positive were followed, removing those who died and the number of individuals who tested positive was checked twice. Specifically, it was taken into account who tested positive in the first wave (March and May 2020) and who tested positive again in the second wave (from September to December 2020). In contrast to those who had not tested positive in the first wave, there was a 3.3% infection rate in the second wave. This took into account more than two-thirds of the population, so the data is reliable. It should be noted that the study only took into account the original strain and not the variants that have emerged .
The data showed that, of the analyzed group, only 0.65% tested positive for the PCR test twice . Likewise, the data showed that there is an 80% probability of protection in young individuals compared to 47% of people over 65 years of age . In this order of ideas, the results highlight that, although, statistically, there is little probability of reinfection of COVID-19, it does exist, so it is necessary to maintain basic care such as the use of masks, hand washing confirms and social distancing. In addition, it shows that the population that should be more protected is the elderly, so the research urges that care be carried out without fail and also that vaccination processes be a priority for this group of people.
Likewise, the study suggests that individuals who have already been infected should also be considered in national vaccination plans .
With "Only 80.5% protection from reinfection in general, decreasing to 47.1% in people aged 65 years and older...a global vaccination programme with high efficacy #vaccines is the enduring solution."—linked Comment by @BoytonRosemary & Daniel Altmann. Read https://t.co/NgiLXMdShX— The Lancet (@TheLancet) March 18, 2021
For Steen Ethelberg, lead author of the research, this study "gives us another piece among many others in the puzzle of our understanding of covid-19 as a disease." He also told EFE that this type of research "reinforces the importance of vaccination among the elderly in our societies, even though they have been previously infected," and stressed the importance of " vaccinating the vulnerable and, in the longer term, the majority of the population certainly seems the best way forward . "