Is it Possible to Get Delta Variant if You Have COVID-19
For Sahil, the last couple of months have been very tough for him. He tested positive for COVID-19 and since then he has been experiencing one symptom or the other. He feels as if his body does not have the same energy as before. Thankfully, he has been recovering.
Sahil is one of those lucky people who recovered from COVID-19 and are on the road to recovery. Sahil also realized that he was very lucky to recover at all from this deadly virus. But at the same time, this is not an experience that Sahil ever wants to repeat.
Today Sahil was walking past his television when he heard that there was a new Delta variant of COVID-19. This immediately shocked Sahil and he realized how unsafe he still was. Now he can’t help but worry if it is possible for people to get the Delta variant even after they have had COVID-19.
Let’s help solve Sahil’s worry in this article.
Understanding the Delta Variant and COVID-19
If you have also been infected from COVID-19, then it is only natural for you to wonder what effect the Delta variant can have on your body. And the simple answer to this question is that natural immunity does occur. It is true that people can be prevented from reinfection. However, this prevention is often mild in most cases.
Because of this, there are a lot of things that are unknown when it comes to understanding the spread of the Delta variant among people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is why some experts are also advising individuals to boost their antibody levels by taking an additional one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to an announcement made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is the most dormant variant across the globe. This variant is responsible for almost 51% of new COVID-19 positive cases.
Further, when it comes to preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and even death, then COVID-19 vaccines like Modern, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer do work well. But simply relying on the natural antibody levels of the body for being protected from the Delta variant is not the best thing to do.
Several studies have also shown that people who have tested positive for COVID can get reinfected. And in those cases, the illness tends to be mild. Beyond this, immunity also varies significantly from one individual to another.
This means that while some people might be able to develop a strong and durable immune response to COVID-19 other people might not be able to do that. This leaves things up to chance and that is not the sort of approach that one should have regarding his or her health.
The Results in Different Studies
According to a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, the rate of reinfection in individuals who have been vaccinated and people who have suffered from COVID-19 is essentially the same.
Further, a study from Qatar has found that the chances of reinfection for people who have suffered from COVID-19 were low. These chances of reinfection further drop if that individual also gets fully vaccinated
This sounds like good news to Sahil. This has also strengthened Sahil’s resolve to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Sahil is also happy to know the fact that reinfection symptoms tend to be mild for people who have suffered from COVID-19.
On the other hand, people who have produced weaker immune responses are at a greater risk of reinfection from the Delta variant. These people can also suffer from more severe COVID-19 symptoms. These findings were seen in a study carried out at the University of Oxford.
However, if we look at average figures, then it can be said that being infected from COVID-19 previously provides individuals with protection against the severe symptoms of this illness. This is due to the preexisting immunity that the body has developed to the COVID-19 virus.
Looking at the Immune System Response
Till now we have mentioned the immune system and its response several times. But now Sahil wants to look at how that works in detail now.
The human immune system involves a lot of working parts. And the most important of these parts are:
Antibodies can be best explained as the first line of defense of the body against any type of infection. Antibodies go after the spike protein, which is where the mutations in the variants occur. Antibodies play a very important role in preventing mild to severe infections in the body.
- T cells
T cells live in the lymph nodes of the body and spring into action only when they are reexposed to a pathogen. T cells have the ability to recognize many different parts of the SARS-CoV-2 and not just the spike protein. As of now, it is estimated that almost 57 locations of the virus are recognizable by the body of a vaccinated person.
T cells play a very important role in attacking the virus. These cells help in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
- B cells
B cells also live in the lymph nodes of the body and come into action after being reexposed to a pathogen. Memory B cells help in producing new antibodies that can recognize the new variants of the COVID-19 virus. This allows the cells to attack the mutations of the virus on exposure to the pathogen.
What Do Doctors Recommend?
Even though being tested positive for COVID-19 does provide the body with some protective abilities, doctors all across the globe still recommend everybody to get vaccinated. If one is not comfortable with a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, then getting a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine is the next best option.
Some studies have also shown that getting a one-dose vaccine after a previous COVID-19 infection can boost antibody levels. This boost is higher than people who have received two-dose COVID-19 vaccine shots!
This does not mean that one should skip on the two-dose vaccine. Many doctors still believe that the best course of action to protect oneself from COVID-19 is to get two-dose COVID-19 vaccine shots with the recommended amount of time period between the shots.
Sahil’s Next Course of Action
Sahil has been putting off getting fully vaccinated for weeks now. But now he is convinced that he needs to get fully vaccinated if he wants to protect himself from being reinfected with the Delta variant of COVID-19. Do you agree with Sahil? Have you made the same decision yet?