In a study from the University of Calgary, scientists found hybrid immunity is the best protection against COVID-19.
They found people with hybrid immunity are the most protected against severe illness and reinfection.
Hybrid immunity occurs when someone has had at least the full series of vaccines and has a prior infection, in any order.
The study helps public policymakers understand the optimal timing of vaccinations.
In the study, the team looked at immune protection against omicron after a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (the virus that causes COVID-19), vaccination, or hybrid immunity.
In total, 4,268 articles were screened and 895 underwent full-text review.
They found protection against hospitalization and severe disease remained above 95 percent for 12 months for individuals with hybrid immunity.
The protection against omicron infection declines substantially by 12 months, regardless of whether you’ve had an infection, vaccinations, or both, which means that vaccination is the best way to periodically boost the protection and to keep down levels of infection in the population.
The study suggests that to reduce infection waves, vaccinations could be timed for roll-out just prior to expected periods of higher infection spread, such as the winter season.
While the findings demonstrate that vaccination along with a prior infection carries the most protection, the scientists warn against intentional exposure to the virus.
The group says the next phase of this research would be to investigate how the bivalent vaccine performs against severe disease.
The study is supported by WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). The views reported do not necessarily reflect the official position of WHO or CEPI.
If you care about COVID, please read studies about the cause of severe COVID symptoms, and Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce severe COVID-19.
The study was conducted by Dr. Niklas Bobrovitz et al and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
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