A new study has revealed that people aged 65 and over who have already had Covid have a much higher risk of reinfection than under-65s. The study was performed by researchers in Denmark and raises concerns for many older people who thought they were extremely unlikely to be infected again.
The results of the study were recently published in The Lancet medical journal, and according to experts, mean that more precautions are needed to protect the over-65s. Older people are at increased risk of severe symptoms if they contract the virus, and the revelation that they are also at increased risk of reinfection will cause huge concerns for many.
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Far lower protection levels for over 65s
The study results suggest that younger people who contract Covid have around 80% protection against reinfection for the next six months. However, those aged 65 and over have only 47% protection, which means that they are far more likely to be infected again than younger people.
Following the release of the study results, Dr Steen Ethelberg from the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark said, “Our study confirms what a number of others appeared to suggest: reinfection with Covid-19 is rare in younger, healthy people, but the elderly are at greater risk of catching it again.”
He added that taking steps to protect older people was vital because of their increased risk of experiencing severe symptoms and the higher chances of death. Dr Steen also reiterated the importance of older people ensuring they follow social distancing rules and other protective measures that have been put into place since the global pandemic began.
Data described as ‘sobering’
Experts from Imperial College London described the data from the report as ‘sobering’. They said that most people who contracted Covid were under the impression that they were very unlikely to get it again for at least six months. However, the study results indicated that this was not the case with older people.
They also said that the figures demonstrate the need for mass immunisation and the importance of older people getting their vaccinations.