New research from Qatar, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has found that the natural immunity from prior infection of Covid-19 has a 92% efficacy against reinfection of the Beta variant, and a 98% efficacy against reinfection of the Alpha variant.
The study looked at a national cohort of Qataris, comparing the reinfection rate of those who had previously been infected with Covid-19 before January 2021, to the infection rate of those who hadn’t.
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise and the world responds to the Omicron variant, the findings come at a particularly important time. The Beta variant is the second most immune evasive variant behind Omicron, and the fact that the research found strong protection for Beta is encouraging. While Omicron has many more mutations, it is somewhat reassuring that there could be at least some partial protection for prior infection against reinfection with Omicron.
Image credit: Rowen Smith