A new real-world UK study found on Thursday that recovering from a previous Covid infection and then getting doubly vaccinated boosts an individual’s immunity against Covid-19 to as high as 94%.
Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, administered in India as Covishield, provided 71% protection against infection up to six months after vaccination, according to the ZOE Covid Study, a non-profit app-based initiative that has been studying real-world data in the UK on Covid-19 since last year.
That protection was increased to as much as 90 per cent among those who previously tested positive for Covid-19.
“The good news this week is our latest research shows having a natural Covid-19 infection before double vaccination means greater protection,” said Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid Study app.
“This is really positive news for overall immunity levels in the UK and means that large numbers of people will have effective and long-lasting protection from Covid-19,” he said.
“The evidence supports the need for vaccination, even for those who have already had Covid-19. We need to be less complacent and without restrictions, much more focus needs to be put on getting everyone vaccinated before winter to keep up with other countries” efforts,” he added.
The other vaccine being used in the UK is the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine, which provided 80% protection up to six months after immunisation and rose to 94 percent with previous Covid-19 infection.
The findings also show that the number of daily new cases in the under-19 age group continues to rise rapidly, while cases in the 30-49 age group rise at a slower rate. According to the ZOE prevalence data, Covid affects about one in every 30 children aged 10 to 19.
“While Covid may be less severe in children, allowing Covid to run rampant among them is a real gamble,” notes Professor Spector.
“Without vaccination or restrictions in this group, we can only hope that some kind of herd immunity will kick in and cases will drop,” he said, warning of long-term effects unless the spread in children is monitored closely after schools reopened fully in recent weeks.