A new study suggests that getting infected by the novel coronavirus before or after COVID-19 vaccination can create so-called “super immunity” from COVID-19 — although experts don’t want you trying to deliberately catch the coronavirus.
The news: Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University found that getting a vaccine shot after recovering from coronavirus provides protection similar to getting COVID-19 after vaccination, which has been noted to create “super immunity.”
- In both scenarios, antibodies were 10 times or more as strong as antibodies in those who were vaccinated but never caught COVID-19.
Flashback: The Oregon Health & Science University previously published a study for the Journal of the American Medical Association that found breakthrough infections from the delta variant created “a robust immune response against the delta variant” — or “super immunity.”
- Researchers said these findings suggest that “the immune response is likely to be highly effective against other variants as the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate.”
Why it matters: People who have this so-called “super immunity” are better protected from COVID-19 infection and severe symptoms, the researchers said.
What they’re saying: “These results, together with our previous work, point to a time when SARS-CoV-2 may become a mostly mild endemic infection like a seasonal respiratory tract infection, instead of a worldwide pandemic,” said study co-author Marcel Curlin, per The Oregonian.
Yes, but: Senior co-author Fikadu Tafesse told The Oregonian this is not a reason for people to intentionally catch COVID-19, saying there are long-term consequences to a COVID-19 infection that aren’t worth it.