With questions about people acquiring “natural immunity” against COVID-19 following an infection swirling on social media, the Wyoming Department of Health reminded that people can catch the virus a second (or more) time.
“People can and do get COVID-19 more than once,” department spokeswoman Kim Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday, pointing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s frequently asked questions.
A recent study done by the CDC showed that unvaccinated people were twice as likely to be re-infected with COVID than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus.
“These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections,” the CDC said.
The organization recommended the vaccine for people who have already been infected with COVID because research hasn’t yet shown how long a person is protected against the virus after recovering from infection.
A Utah doctor recently explained to a local ABC station that while some patients have inquired about natural immunity, he said it is not a good strategy.
While some people will acquire an immunity to the virus, the CDC and Wyoming Department of Health continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.
“The reason for that is natural immunity varies tremendously from person to person depending on age or health conditions, the health of one’s immune system,” Dr. Brandon Webb said. “It also varies tremendously in how long it lasts depending on those similar conditions. Someone who has natural immunity from a year ago or more likely has waning immunity.”