Combo of Previous COVID-19 Infection and Vaccination Gives Best Protection

Jay Croft

January 20, 2023

People who have been infected with COVID-19 and vaccinated against it are more likely to avoid serious illness than those who were only previously infected, a new study says.

It’s called "hybrid immunity" and it offers better protection from COVID reinfection, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The World Health Organization said the study shows "the advantages of vaccination even after people have had COVID-19," Fortune reported.

People with hybrid immunity had a 95% lower risk of getting seriously sick or hospitalized a year later, the study says`. People previously infected but unvaccinated people had a lower risk, too, but just 75% lower.

"Those with hybrid immunity following their first two COVID shots were nearly 42% less likely to get reinfected with COVID a year out, and nearly 47% less likely six months out following their first booster vaccination," Forbes wrote. "For those who had been infected but not vaccinated, protection was just 25% at 12 months."

People with hybrid protection might be able to wait six months after infection or vaccination to get a booster dose, study authors said.


The Lancet: "Protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against the omicron variant and severe disease: a systematic review and meta-regression."

Fortune: "Recovering from COVID doesn’t give you bulletproof immunity—'hybrid’ immunity is way better, according to a new WHO study."


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