In one of many first massive research exploring immunity from pure an infection with COVID-19, researchers in Denmark discovered some shocking developments—together with proof that even those that beforehand contracted the illness ought to nonetheless get vaccinated.

Within the research, revealed March 17 in medical journal The Lancet, researchers took benefit of repeated coronavirus check outcomes from about 4 million individuals with a view to observe how usually these beforehand contaminated with SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—have been reinfected. For the reason that check outcomes have been tied to individuals’s well being data, the scientists might anonymize the info and evaluate those that examined optimistic throughout Denmark’s first COVID-19 wave final spring with those that examined optimistic throughout a second wave within the autumn. That exposed key findings about reinfection charges within the nation.

Within the spring, 2% of the 530,000-plus individuals who have been examined for SARS-CoV-2 have been optimistic. Amongst them, 0.65% examined optimistic once more later that 12 months, in comparison with 3.3% of those that had examined detrimental in the course of the first wave. That means an infection with SARS-CoV-2 offers about 80% safety in opposition to reinfection. What’s extra, there was no proof that this immunity waned over the research’s six month follow-up interval.

However when the researchers broke down the info by age, they discovered that this safety wasn’t uniform—safety was solely 47% for individuals over 65 years previous.

“The end result within the aged shocked me,” says lead researcher Steen Ethelberg of the Statens Serum Institut, Denmark’s equal of the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. “That was, ‘wow, that is really necessary; we have now to speak this as a result of you’ll be able to clearly not depend on being protected if you’re a senior citizen and have the illness.’”

To regulate for the chance that the checks have been choosing up the identical an infection twice, Ethelberg’s workforce analyzed the outcomes with differing instances between the testing. But it surely got here up with related outcomes, exhibiting earlier an infection supplied about 80-82% safety from reinfection for many adults.

The workforce’s information was collected by means of final 12 months, earlier than main new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerged, so the findings don’t apply to immunity after an infection from these strains. Nevertheless, Ethelberg is planning to repeat the research with more moderen information to see if related patterns maintain up for these contaminated with the variants.

For now, the findings strongly counsel that even when individuals over age 65 years have skilled COVID-19, they nonetheless have to be vaccinated, since their safety from their pure an infection will not be adequate by itself. “They should take care, and shouldn’t imagine that they’re immune and nonetheless shield themselves,” says Ethelberg. Whereas much less pressing, that additionally goes for anybody of any age who has recovered from COVID-19. “It’s well-known that coronavirus an infection don’t induce 100% immunity,” he says.

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