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Kentucky Study: Reinfection Twice As Likely Among Unvaccinated Former COVID Patients

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AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File
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Kentuckians who contracted COVID-19 but remained unvaccinated were more than twice as likely to be reinfected in May and June of 2021. That’s according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The study looked at residents who contracted COVID-19 in 2020 — asking the question: are those who went on to get vaccinated less likely to catch COVID again? And the data suggest the answer is yes.

The report, released on Friday, showed a “significantly higher likelihood” of reinfection among the unvaccinated group, lending support to the argument that full vaccination produces added protection against the virus. COVID patients who recovered but did not get the shot were 2.3 times more likely to find themselves battling the illness a second time in May and June, according to the numbers.

The report notes that the understanding of natural infection-derived immunity is still emerging and further study is required to confirm the findings. The summary notes several potential limitations of the study, including that persons who have been vaccinated are possibly less likely to get tested.

The results run counter to arguments advanced by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was the first U.S. senator known to test positive for the coronavirus in March 2020. He has since declined to get vaccinated, maintining natural immunity confers sufficient protection against COVID-19.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.