One of the reasons people decide not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is that they have already had the virus.

New data shows that it’s not a good idea to rely on that.

There is no doubt that being infected with and recovering from the COVID-19 virus allows you to produce natural antibodies that might help to prevent reinfection. The thing is, those antibodies don’t last long.

Recent research suggests that immunity acquired from infection does not last long at all; roughly three months, to be exact. Much like a cold, flu, or other coronavirus infection, permanent immunity is not a reality.

Vaccination, however, can make a major difference. The study found that people who’ve had COVID and are unvaccinated are five times more likely to be reinfected than someone who’s had at least one shot of the COVID vaccine.

Many experts are predicting that variations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are here to stay and that annual COVID shots will be required to enhance immunity and reduce the risk and severity of infection. Therefore, one infection or one series of vaccinations is unlikely to offer any long-term protection.

Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of infection and severe outcomes. The recent omicron wave suggests that even if vaccinated people were infected, they were highly likely to experience minimal symptoms and were not ending up in hospitals.

COVID-19 is likely here to stay, and a certain amount of individual and communal responsibility will be required to avoid infection, especially as many municipalities adjust their philosophy to living with the virus.

Protect yourself, and others, by getting vaccinations and adhering to local public health guidelines.

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