Top health officials looked into what left people more protected from COVID. The results may surprise some.

The CDC released results into a new study looking into what left people more protected from COVID a previous COVID infection or being fully vaccinated.

The CDC gathered data from New York and California officials of people infected with COVID from May through November 2021, including when the Delta variant was the most dominant COVID strain.

From May through November 2021, case and hospitalization rates were highest among persons who were unvaccinated without a previous COVID diagnosis, according to the CDC.

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Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, new COVID case rates were higher among people who were previously infected than someone who was vaccinated alone.

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By early October, a person who survived a previous COVID infection had lower case rates than people who were vaccinated alone. Meaning the study found when the Delta variant was dominant unvaccinated people who previously had COVID had lower rates of the virus than someone who didn't previously have COVID but was vaccinated.

Giulio Fornasar
Giulio Fornasar
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"Viruses are constantly changing, including the virus that causes Covid-19," the CDC stated. "The level of protection offered by vaccination and surviving a previous infection changed during the study period. Vaccination remains the safest strategy for protecting against COVID-19".

Despite these findings, the CDC still believes getting vaccinated is the best way to keep yourself or your loved ones protected from hospitalizations or death.

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Jeffrey Hamilton
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"Vaccination remains the safest strategy for averting future SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, long-term sequelae, and death. Primary vaccination, additional doses, and booster doses are recommended for all eligible persons. Additional future recommendations for vaccine doses might be warranted as the virus and immunity levels change," the CDC wrties in the summer of the study.

The CDC still recommends a vaccine over immunity from an infection because vaccines greatly decrease the chances of dying from COVID, officials say. 130,781 residents of New York and California died from COVID by Nov. 30, 2021, according to the study.

 

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"The evidence in this report does not change our vaccination recommendations," one of the study's authors, Dr. Ben Silk, told reporters. "We know that vaccination is still the safest way to protect yourself against COVID-19."

The study concluded before the Omicron variant became the dominant COVID variant.

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