Covid-19: vaccination, infection… in which case are you better protected against serious forms of the disease?

the essential
Although the number of hospitalizations related to Covid-19 continues to increase in France, two studies analyze the immunity acquired after infection with the virus and after vaccination. The verdict is clear: it is better to get vaccinated after being infected with the virus.

Is your body better protected against SARS-CoV-2 after being infected or vaccinated? Two teams of researchers have attempted to answer this question! Two studies published this Friday, April 1, in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases come to the conclusion that he it is better to get vaccinated after being infected with the virus. The immunity conferred after a Covid-19 infection would thus be reinforced after vaccination.

Boost immunity…

The the first of these two studies was carried out in Brazil : The country has been hit hard by the pandemic, with nearly 660,000 virus-related deaths recorded in the last two and a half years. The work was based on clinical data from nearly 200,000 Brazilians infected with the virus. A sample of patients did not receive any dose of vaccine. After an observation period, a portion of these patients received a dose of vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, or Johnson & Johnson-Janssen.

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The find? “These four vaccines prove to give additional and substantial protection to people who were already infected with Covid-19 before,” says Julio Croda, co-author of the study, who explains that with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the risks of hospitalizations and deaths, for example, they are reduced by almost 90% after an injection and contamination.

… overtime

The second study, carried out in Sweden, goes in the direction of the first. The document thus states that people who have been infected by the virus and who have been vaccinated after being contaminated benefit from high immunity for about twenty months. This scheme would also reduce the risk of reinfection by more than 65%.

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The fact is that these two studies were conducted long before the appearance and spread of the Omicron variant (and its little brother BA.2), which considerably altered the epidemic landscape. The variant, discovered in South Africa, is not only more contagious than the Delta variant, but also shows some resistance to currently used vaccines. These two studies, however, suggest that “hybrid immunity, acquired by being exposed to both infection and vaccination, […] could provide long-lasting protection, even against new variants,” explains Professor Pramod Kumar, an Indian researcher.

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Currently, more than 22,000 infected people are hospitalized in France. 1,500 patients are currently in intensive care: numbers that have been rising steadily for more than a week.

Vaccination: what recommendations in case of infection?

If you have been infected with the virus, but are waiting for a dose of vaccine, the Haute Autorité de Santé recommends that you vaccinate “immunocompetent persons”, with a single dose of vaccine, preferably 2 to 6 months after infection.

Attention ! If the infection occurs after vaccination has been started or completed, it is necessary to contact your healthcare professional.

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