Study: COVID Reinfections May Increase Risk of Serious Disease, Death

A new study published Thursday from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., suggested that people who sustain multiple COVID infections increase their risk of hospitalization, serious health complications, and death — regardless of vaccination status.

Study: COVID Reinfections May Increase Risk of Serious Disease, Death
Image credit: FOX News

Facts

  • A new study published Thursday from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., suggested that people who sustain multiple COVID infections increase their risk of hospitalization, serious health complications, and death — regardless of vaccination status.
  • The research — which analyzed almost 5.8M health records — showed that those with multiple COVID infections were at risk of several health issues up to six months following their most recent illness, with this risk increasing with each successive infection.
  • The report's senior author, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, suggested “an air of invincibility” exists among those who have been vaccinated and boosted and had a previous COVID infection, as he called on people to avoid infection altogether.
  • A complicating factor in analyzing the role of reinfections on the general population is the wide diversity in immune systems due to vaccination status, previous COVID infections, and the type of COVID variants a person has been exposed to. More than 80% of Americans are estimated to have had at least one infection.
  • Meanwhile, critics of the study suggested that the sample size mostly focused on older males and also cited additional research that indicates that the effects of multiple infections show a "plateauing effect" on some symptoms.
  • Al-Aly is among the experts urging for the development of a COVID "2.0" vaccine strategy to prevent transmission and be long-lasting for years, and some research into new nasal vaccines is reportedly showing promising results.

Sources: FOX News, Forbes, Washington Post, Reuters, and DW.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Newsbud. It's time to fast-track COVID Vaccine 2.0 already, but both Democrats and Republicans are standing in the way. With new variants, debilitating long COVID, and societal fatigue with the pandemic, a decrease in funding and lack of interest has made the virus run laps around our response to it. We need to re-invigorate developing a superior next-generation COVID vaccine with the same zeal and support as the Trump-era Operation Warp Speed.
  • Narrative B, as provided by JAMA Network. If the goal is to prevent COVID infections — even mild ones — we’re going to drive ourselves crazy. It's not uncommon for some viruses to make people sick after vaccination. Expecting a measles-like lifelong immune response from a COVID vaccine isn't realistic. It's time to revisit flawed terminology like "breakthrough infection" and "long COVID" to refine our conversations. The purpose of COVID vaccines is to prevent severe illness and death — the current suite does a terrific job of that.

Predictions