The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Friday which reveals that unvaccinated individuals are more likely to get reinfected with COVID-19. The CDC studied 246 Kentucky residents who were reinfected this year after contracting the virus in 2020.
Researchers found that those who were not vaccinated had 2.34 times the odds of reinfection compared with those who were fully vaccinated.
Study authors concluded that “to reduce their likelihood for future infection, all eligible persons should be offered COVID-19 vaccine, even those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
“These findings suggest that among persons with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, full vaccination provides additional protection against reinfection,” the CDC report reads. “To reduce their risk of infection, all eligible persons should be offered vaccination, even if they have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”
The CDC’s new recommendations for individuals that have been reinfected are different than its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which suggests that previously infected individuals do not need to get vaccinated because of natural immunity.
The agency says that natural immunity with COVID-19 is “not well understood” but “is suspected of persisting for 90 days in most persons.” New variants of the deadly virus continue to emerge. The Delta variant is responsible for more than half of new COVID-19 infections.
Some researchers are recommending that vaccinated individuals receive a booster shot for extra protection. Booster shots have not been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it’s expected that the organization will approve the shots soon.
“If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “This study shows you are twice as likely to get infected again if you are unvaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”
As the spread of the delta variant continues to cause a rise in cases across the country, the rate of vaccinations is also increasing. The U.S. hit a milestone Friday, with half of Americans now being fully vaccinated.