FORTUNE – With Omicron subvariants causing COVID cases to jump nationwide, two new studies offer a small consolation for vaccinated individuals who suffer breakthrough infections.
The infection leaves you with protections that may be more effective than those offered by a second booster.
Both studies investigated the immune responses of various groups based on their vaccination and infection status.
Looking at vaccinated individuals who had a breakthrough Omicron infection, BioNTech found that those individuals showed a better b-cell response than individuals who had been boosted but not infected.
B-cells, a type of white blood cell, are a component of the body’s immune system that helps produce antibodies.
The University of Washington’s study compared blood samples of individuals who had been vaccinated and then caught Delta or Omicron with those who had caught COVID first and were then vaccinated, those who had been vaccinated but never infected, and those who were infected and never vaccinated.
The study found that vaccinated individuals who caught Omicron produced antibodies that formed a formidable defense against other variants of the virus.
Unvaccinated people who caught Omicron did not have a similarly robust and protective immune response.
However, any protections, no matter how strong, only last so long. The immunity of both boosted and previously infected individuals wears off after several months … READ MORE.