MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Health officials say it is important for people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated. A new CDC study shows survivors who ignored that advice and had COVID are more than twice as likely to get re-infected.
“Now the surge is worse than it’s ever been,” said Matt Robinson, who works in the COVID unit at Methodist University Hospital.
Inside Methodist University Hospital, frontline healthcare workers will tell you COVID-19 and the Delta variant are still taking a toll on patients.
“This is worse than we’ve ever seen. This variant is hitting people at young ages that do not have the comorbidities it had the first time the first time around,” said Robinson.
There’s a new argument in the COVID debate that some are using not to get vaccinated. Some say they’ve had COVID, therefore they don’t need to get the vaccine.
“I can understand how people can think that and they probably do have a little bit more immunity than people who’ve never had COVID,” said Dr. Jeff Warren, who’s a COVID task force member.
Warren, a Memphis City Council member who is also a family physician and who recently contracted COVID, says natural infection isn’t enough to protect you.
“But having just had COVID after having both the vaccines, I can tell you that we already know people who’ve had COVID can get it again. We know people with the vaccine, they can also get it,” said Warren.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study reporting that individuals who’ve had COVID are twice as likely to get reinfected.
The CDC study was based on people who were infected with COVID in 2020 and reinfected between May and June of 2021. That’s the same time the Delta variant started intensifying across the country.
Dr. Warren recommends getting the vaccine now.
“Getting it as early as possible, making sure you’re wearing your mask until you’re fully protected and still wear your mask until you hear that this COVID wave has started to decline,” said Warren.
A message from those on the frontlines that unvaccinated COVID survivors should not let down their guard.
“My concern is with the number of unvaccinated people out there that these numbers are going to keep rising,” said Robinson.
Health care workers say although antibodies from natural infection may provide some protection against the virus, evidence shows nothing protects against covid-19 better than vaccines.