As some people recover from coronavirus, many question their immunity going forward and whether they, too, must limit their interactions and continue to take preventative measures.
The answer is yes, according to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
While there is evidence that those who contract the virus do develop some form of immunity, questions remain surrounding how much and how long it will last, Chicago's top doctor said Tuesday.
"The problem is significant level of immunity can mean very different things for different people," Arwady said. "There are still a lot of questions about how long some level of protection may last. We worry about people who didn't get very seriously ill, didn't mount a very significant immune response, perhaps not having as much protection that comes later."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "reports of reinfection have been infrequent." The agency suggests that reinfection risks depend on re-exposure to infectious cases, but that the probability of reinfection is "expected to increase with time after recovery from initial infection."
"You know, the CDC has broadly said that in the three months or so after recovery, there is some level of protection, but there's major questions about how long that lasts and what those levels are like," Arwady said. "And there have absolutely been hundreds of cases of people who have been reinfected with COVID. And so it doesn't seem to be the norm, but it can happen."
For that reason, Arwady recommended that even people who have recovered from coronavirus should get the vaccine.
"Because we are not sort of trusting whatever. There's a lot of variability in terms of levels of protection and how sick somebody was," she said.