Question 1

1. Will a Covid infection protect me from getting ill with Covid again?

A large percentage of the population has now been infected two or more times with Covid. Mass infection gives the virus plenty of opportunity to mutate. Every time the virus mutates there is the possibility of a new variant emerging which is able to evade our antibodies (whether from prior infection or vaccine). The more the new variant evades antibodies, the faster it spreads. Children are less likely than adults to produce antibodies, and this may put them at greater risk of frequent reinfections. 

Covid vaccination offers strong (albeit not 100%) protection from ending up in hospital or dying after a breakthrough infection. The same is not true for Covid infections. Previous Covid infection does not protect us from becoming seriously ill, even dying, if we get a further Covid infection. A large US study of army veterans published in November showed: “Cumulative risks and burdens of repeat infection increased according to the number of infections…Reinfection further increases risks of death, hospitalization and sequelae in multiple organ systems in the acute and postacute phase.” It also  increased the risk of other Long Covid symptoms. After a painstaking analysis of their results, the authors conclude “Prevention of infection and reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 should continue to be the goal of public health policy.”

Data collected and analysed by Long Covid Support and Long Covid Kids shows that the majority of people already suffering from Long Covid suffer worse symptoms if they get reinfected. And most of those who had previously recovered from Long Covid relapse when infected again.