By Our Web Desk
Preliminary reports from South Africa show people who have recovered from Covid-19 have been reinfected with a new, more contagious variant of the virus, World Health Organization officials said at a press briefing Friday.
The good news, however, is that the vaccines developed to guard against the virus appear to reduce the severity of illness in those who do develop Covid-19, even if it doesn’t completely protect them from infection, said the WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.
Vaccination may also decrease the spread of new Covid variants, according to the WHO.
“There are reports now that if you have the vaccine and you get infected, the viral load is much lower. So the chances of infecting others may be lower,” said Swaminathan.
Prior Covid infection produces antibodies and cell mediated immunity that are thought to prevent reinfection, scientists have found. Vaccination also helps individuals build protection against the virus.
But researchers continue to study the extent to which prior infection and vaccination protect against the new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus.