One of the enduring questions of the COVID-19 pandemic is how much immunity people are left with after recovering from a coronavirus infection. New research suggests the level of protection is comparable to getting a vaccine — at least for a few months.
Among a group of hundreds of thousands of Americans who tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the risk of developing a subsequent infection more than three months later was about 90% lower than for people who had not been previously infected and therefore had no immunity to the virus, according to researchers from the National Cancer Institute.
For the sake of comparison, when the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were tested in Phase 3 clinical trials, they reduced the risk of developing COVID-19 by at least 94%.
The findings, published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine, could help inform plans for returning workers to their offices, sending students and teachers back to school campuses and allowing more of the economy to reopen.
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