Directorate Of Health Announces "Widespread Immunity" Against COVID, But Reinfection Still A Risk

Directorate Of Health Announces “Widespread Immunity” Against COVID, But Reinfection Still A Risk

Published May 18, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A new report issued by the Directorate of Health concludes that “widespread immunity against COVID-19 has been achieved in society”, but it bears mentioning that the risk of reinfection still remains.

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The study was conducted in the beginning of last April in the capital area to asses the spread of COVID-19 amongst individuals aged 20 to 80, with cooperation between the chief epidemiologist and deCODE Genetics.

The study tested both for antibodies against the coronavirus as well as the presence of the virus in the nasal passages with a PCR test. 916 individuals took part.

The results showed that about 70-80% of those aged 20 to 60 had been infected with the coronavirus in the beginning of April 2022, while fewer older individuals were with signs of previous infection, i.e., 50% of individuals aged 60 to 80.

These results led to the conclusion that widespread immunity has been achieved in Icelandic society, and that a fourth vaccination shot for those aged 80 and older is advisable.

That said, it must be mentioned that reinfection, while uncommon, is still possible. New York state, for example, found that because of the emergence of new variants, “[t]hrough May 8, 2022, there have been 232,866 cases of reinfection, which represents about 4.3% of all COVID infections reported to date in the State. 202,310 of these reinfections have occurred since the week of Dec 13, 2021, the week that variants sequenced in New York State increased to 20% Omicron. This corresponds to 86.9% of reinfections reported in the State to date.”

Reinfection is also significantly higher amongst those not already vaccinated, those who are especially vulnerable to the virus, and the elderly.

Vaccines should still protect people from strains such BA.2 or BA2.12.1, but it is advisable to continue wearing a mask in closed, crowded spaces especially.

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