Young patients who have recovered from Coronavirus once are not completely immune from contracting Covid-19 for the second time, a recent study conducted by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine has found. The subjects of the study were more than 3000 healthy members of the US Marines Corps most of whom were 18-20 years old. Out of the 3000 total about 2346 members were followed throughout the period of the study, the Indian Express reported.
At the start of the study in May 2020, a total of 189 Marines were seropositive whereas 2247 Marines were found to be seronegative. At the end of the study in November 2020, about 19 individuals out of the 189 Marines were found re-infected with Coronavirus. On the other hand, about 50 percent of Marines who were seronegative earlier were infected with Coronavirus.
Implications of Research finding
The authors of the research have said that despite the presence of antibodies and occurence of Covid-19 infection once, immunisation in the form of Coronavirus vaccines was still needed to provide long term protection against Coronavirus. The study also said that young people should also not refrain from getting vaccinated even if they have recovered from the virus once and should get their jab as and when it is available. However, the study authors clarified that the prevalence of re-infection among the study group cannot be the same in other conditions as at a military base, personnel live in close proximity and engage in close personal contact during their physical training.
Why do reinfections occur?
As per the study findings, the participants of the study who got reinfected with the Coronavirus were those who had lower antibody levels against the virus. In addition to this prime reason, the participants who got reinfected also had less common neutralising antibodies.