CLEVELAND – A study by Cleveland clinic staff found that those who had previously been infected with COVID-19 were unlikely to become infected again, even if they had not been vaccinated.
Research such as this could help countries that have not yet received a large number of vaccines to prioritize who will receive photos first. In the United States, vaccines are readily available and free.
Like all studies, the study is limited in scope, but its authors nevertheless make broad claims.
“Subjects previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely to receive reinfection of COVID-1
“Our study examined the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and showed that those who were previously infected and did not receive the vaccine did not have higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection. 2 of those previously infected, which has provided direct evidence that vaccination does not add protection to those who have previously been infected. “
The study was conducted on 52,238 employees at the clinic in Cleveland. A positive RT-PCR test was defined as COVID-19 infection. Among the participants in the study, 2,579 were previously infected and 54% of this group remained unvaccinated. None of these 2,759 employees were reinfected.
When asked to comment on the study, the Cleveland clinic published the statement.
The Cleveland clinic recommends those who qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
We recently shared a study that gives an idea of how the immune system protects the body after a confirmed COVID-19 infection. The study followed caregivers at the Cleveland clinic for five months as the vaccination process began. The data show that the vaccine is extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. In addition, we found that none of the previously infected employees who remained unvaccinated were reinfected during the study. This information can help guide vaccination efforts if there is a shortage of vaccines and in countries where vaccine supply is limited.
This is still a new virus and more research is needed. It is important to keep in mind that this study was conducted in a population that was younger and healthier than the general population. In addition, we do not know how long the immune system will protect itself from re-infection after COVID-19. It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have tested positive before and we recommend that all those who qualify get it.
The Cleveland Clinic
Limitations of the study
The authors acknowledge an obvious limitation in their work. As there was no policy of asymptomatic screening of employees, “previously infected subjects who remained asymptomatic may have been misclassified as previously uninfected. Given this limitation, care should be taken to draw conclusions about the protective effect of previous asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. “
Also, 12% of caregivers classified as previously infected did not have a recorded date of onset of symptoms, suggesting that at least some who were classified as previously infected may have had asymptomatic infections.
The authors say that the five-month duration of the study is short, but longer than the published studies on the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines.
The study also did not include children and several elderly patients, and most of the subjects would not be immunosuppressed.
It is also unknown how this study will deal with the newer options.
Strengths of the study
The study also cites some of its strengths, including the large size and length of the sample. Follow-up of up to five months gave researchers “sufficient confidence in his findings.”
The researchers selected the cohort of clinic staff because of documentation of their vaccination against COVID-19. The hospital is a place where any COVID-19 infection will be registered.
“Given that this was a survey of health system staff and that the health system has policies and procedures that recognize the critical importance of monitoring the pandemic among its staff, we had an accurate record of who had COVID-19 when they were were diagnosed with COVID-19, who received the COVID-19 vaccine, and when they received it, “the authors write.
The findings have important implications worldwide, the authors said. In countries where the supply of vaccines is limited, it would be most sensible to give the vaccine first to those who are not infected.
The study says that by May 17, only 17 countries had reached 10% or more of their population with at least the first dose.
Click here to access the full survey.
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