One study states that the unvaccinated can get reinfected, not withstanding any natural immunity gained from exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Some studies say that antibodies of exposed individuals can naturally evolve the immune cells.
How long immunity may last is dependent on who does the research, yet after several months with no one to an answer. But, this study is only one of many, so the conclusion is not absolute because most researchers consider vaccination over natural immunity better.
Vaccination is better than natural immunity acquired from previous infection
According to the scientists from Yale and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, strong protection is temporary, and there is a need to supplement it, reported Scitechdaily.
Jeffrey Townsend, a professor from Yale School of Public Health and lead author of the study, said that those infected with no vaccine should get one.
He warned that based on their study, antibodies gained from previous infections are not a guarantee there is no chance of getting sick with a new strain of the virus which might bypass defenses, noted Yale News.
Recently published in the Lancet Microbe, the scientists are the initial investigator to study reinfection after catching the virus, especially if the individual is not vaccinated.
Reinfection most likely to those unvaccinated
Findings from the study investigated all the reinfection and immunological data gleaned from the nearest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, which cause colds. Another is data about the SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and contrasting them.
Next, they studied how the two earlier cousins of the coronavirus, how they arose to become COVID-19. From there, they were able to establish the risk factors of getting sick with it again. The unvaccinated can get reinfected despite natural immunity based on the study's premise.
A good chance of getting reinfected again even after getting better from infection, said the scientists. They remarked coming strains would be a factor if the current antibodies could handle the viral load.
One of the authors, Alex Dornburg, stated emphasis is placed on how immune the system is or not. Instead, that gray area where reinfection is very much possible should be where the focus is.
His studies in bioinformatics and genomics at the University of North Carolina led to thought the constant evolution of the virus is a significant factor. He added that the immune system might handle it, but sometimes the SARS-CoV-2 has a little surprise.
It will be a constant that those who got the virus may be sick due to its unpredictability versus immune response. A model developed from the data has shown an equal chance of the coronavirus and other viruses in a period.
Townsend mentioned that the common cold is the same virus as last year, with no evolution. But, the pandemic and emergence of COVID-19 has proven to change but not for good. But most viral adaptations will disappear in time.
If anything was seen in the past two years of the pandemic, nature is primed to create human threats over time. This evolutionary biology is the basis of the study, which is a historical discipline.
He added that the study's findings show that informed decision-making with knowledge is needed to lessen how the unvaccinated can get reinfected despite having natural immunity.