In the early days of COVID, that is back in 2020, it was too difficult to get infected for the second time. And 2 years on, it is not the same now. Many people who had the disease earlier are catching it for the second or the third time. Reports suggest it is mostly due to 3 key reasons – first is the waning of vaccine immunity; the second, is the omicron variant, and the third, is the sheer number game.
Waning of vaccine immunity:
The chances of COVID reinfection increase with the waning of coronavirus vaccine immunity. Even World Health Organisation (WHO) has pointed out this will happen and that is why we take more than one dose of vaccine.
“As we enter the 3rd year of the pandemic, we expect to see some waning over time. It depends on the type of vaccines you have taken, the number of doses and also age and underlying conditions,” WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove said.
The Omicron variant:
The Omicron variants, both BA.1 and BA.2, are phylogenetically very different from the earlier strains.
These differences give it a better chance of sneaking past the body’s early defences, which were based on exposure to previous Covid infections, a BBC report said. “And so the rates of reinfection have been about 10 times higher this year compared with rates seen earlier in the pandemic.”
The sheer number of cases:
Part of it is a numbers game. So many of us have already been infected at some point, that a rising proportion of new infections are a second bout, the report also pointed out.
However, experts pointed out that even if you test positive for the second time it is unlikely to cause severe infections. Immunologist Prof Eleanor Riley said that in such cases … “it means there is virus in your nose and throat.”
The protection provided by vaccination or having had a previous infection is more useful at preventing the virus from getting into your body and doing serious damage, than it is at keeping the virus out of your nose and throat.
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