SPOKANE — Vaccinations offer better protection against COVID-19 than immunity from being infected with the virus, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While much research is being conducted around immunity, it’s still unclear just how long a person is immune from the virus after testing positive for COVID-19.
Vaccination, particularly with mRNA vaccines, has been associated with longer immunity, however.
A new CDC study of more than 7,000 hospitalized patients in nine states found that people who tested positive for the virus earlier in the pandemic but remained unvaccinated were five times more likely to have COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated with no prior infection.
Vaccines provide more consistent and robust immunity to protect people from hospitalization and death for at least six months.
“We now have additional evidence that reaffirms the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, even if you have had prior infection,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “This study adds more to the body of knowledge demonstrating the protection of vaccines against severe disease from COVID-19.”
The study builds on research out of Kentucky earlier this year that found being unvaccinated after testing positive for the virus in 2020 was associated with more than two times the odds of reinfection compared with full vaccination.
Once symptoms resolve and a person has recovered from the virus, they are eligible to be vaccinated.
Those who receive convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 need to wait 30 to 90 days until they are eligible to be vaccinated, depending on which treatment they received.
Additionally, anyone who has been diagnosed with multi-inflammatory syndrome following a COVID infection should wait at least 90 days after their infection to be vaccinated, as well as consult their health care provider before they do.