If you’ve had Covid, do you need to be vaccinated? Probably not, because catching the virus gives you just as much protection as the vaccine, a new research study has found.
Instead, vaccines should be prioritized to those who haven’t been infected, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic recommend.
They started tracking the effectiveness of the vaccine among 52,238 people working at the clinic from December 16 last year, the very first day one of the Covid vaccines was introduced, and for five months afterwards.
By then, 2,579 employees had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, and 53 percent of them did not have the vaccine. Of the nearly 50,000 employees who hadn’t tested positive, 41 percent hadn’t been vaccinated.
Over the following five months, nobody in the infected group who didn’t have the vaccine developed Covid again, whereas there was a steady increase in cases among those who hadn’t had the infection and were also unvaccinated.
The risk of getting a Covid infection was 10 times less likely in someone who had a previous infection than someone who hadn’t, they concluded. As a result, previous infection gave similar levels of protection as the vaccine.
(Source: MedRXiv, 2021; doi: 10.1101/2021.06.01.21258176)