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UW Health: COVID-19 vaccine more reliable for protection than infection-based immunity

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 3:08 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Being vaccinated against COVID-19 provides more immunity against the virus than having infection-based immunity, according to local health experts Tuesday.

UW Health chief quality officer Dr. Jeff Pothof explained that vaccination provides the most “reliable and durable” immunity to COVID-19. In a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it notes people with past COVID-19 infections were twice as likely to be reinfected than those who were fully vaccinated against the virus after initially getting COVID-19 and recovering.

“The COVID-19 vaccines were studied through comprehensive clinical trials and produced extensive data,” Pothof said. “That data shows us that they produce reliable, highly effective and more durable immunity.”

While vaccines are readily available, Dr. Pothof said many are hesitant to get the vaccine. Some say that they are hesitant because of immunity they have from a previous infection, Pothof added.

According to the CDC, one-third of people who get COVID-19 do not create an immune response.

“It’s also important for people to know that if you were infected more than 90 days ago, your immunity is decreasing at this point and you may be at risk for re-infection,” Dr. Pothof said.

The CDC also notes that antibody response went down after 60 days for about 94% of healthcare workers who had COVID-19 and recovered.

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