Research finds that people who have had Omicron are more likely to be reinfected compared with previous variants of Covid-19.
People who have previously contracted the Alpha, Beta or Delta variants were 90% protected from reinfection according new research. That protection rate drops to 56% with Omicron. However, it is important to note that those reinfected with any of those variants are less likely to be hospitalised or die.
The research was conducted by epidemiologist Laith Abu-Raddad and his team in Weill-Cornell Medical in Qatar. Abu-Raddad and his team have been tracking reinfections in Qatar for more than a year. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers extracted COVID-19 data from laboratory testing, vaccination, clinical infection data, and related demographic details from Qatar’s national SARS-CoV-2 databases. These databases include all results of all COVID-19 related PCR tests, vaccinations, hospital admissions, and deaths in Qatar since the start of the pandemic.
Abu-Raddad said that the long-term protection provided by prior infection is seen in healthy people under age 50. This protection is considerably less effective and possibly more short-lived for people who are older or who have underlying health conditions.
On Monday, health authorities reported 613 new Covid-19 cases, with cases steadily decreasing. Total active cases have also gone down to 8,555 compared to 20,944 on February 2.
The numbers indicate a steady recovery from the peak of the latest wave, and a gradual easing of restrictions.