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UW Health: vaccines more effective than infection-based immunity

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vaccine booster shots

MADISON (WKOW) -- Many are still hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and UW Health say some are citing a previous COVID-19 infection and the immunity that comes with it as a reason why. 

But, according to UW Health, the immunity that comes from an infection and a vaccine are not the same. In fact, vaccines protect against infection much better than immunity from a previous infection.

According to a statement from UW Health spokesperson Emily Kumlien, COVID-19 infection does provide antibodies that will protect the victim for the following 90 days. However, there is no conclusive research that these antibodies are long-lasting.

Additionally, approximately one-third of people who contract COVID-19 don't produce an immune response, leaving them vulnerable to further infection.

“The COVID-19 vaccines were studied through comprehensive clinical trials and produced extensive data,” UW Health chief quality officer Dr. Jeff Pothof said. “That data shows us that they produce reliable, highly effective and more durable immunity.”

Infection-based antibody response declined in 94 percent of healthcare workers, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“COVID-19 vaccination offers better protection than infection-based immunity alone,” Pothof said. “It’s also important for people to know that if you were infected more than 90 days ago, your immunity is decreasing at this point and you may be at risk for re-infection.”

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