People who have already contracted coronavirus are as protected from re-infection as those who have received the best Covid-19 vaccines, according to a survey of 20,000 British healthcare workers, the largest study in the world to date.
Public Health England regularly tested two groups of matching volunteers between June and November: 6,000 health workers who had previously been infected with coronavirus and 14,000 who had not.
A comparison of infections in the two groups, described in preliminary results released Thursday, found that a previous infection provided at least 83% protection against reinfection. It gave greater than 94% protection against symptomatic Covid-19, which matches the numbers for the most effective Covid-19 vaccines.
Susan Hopkins, PHE’s senior medical advisor, said she was “strongly encouraged” by the discovery that the infection offered potent – but not complete – protection against reinfection for at least five months.
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