"Part of a new normal": COVID reinfections are here to stay

Can I be reinfected if I’ve already had Covid, or been vaccinated or boosted?

To put it bluntly, yes. Experts are in agreement that reinfections are possible, even in people who have already been infected or those who are up-to-date on their vaccines.

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“Reinfections, unfortunately, are not unusual for coronavirus,” said Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale University. “It’s just the nature of this virus infection.”

The coronavirus that causes Covid is not unique — other types of coronaviruses that cause common colds can also reinfect, Fauci said. But those reinfections may occur every two or three years, because those viruses don’t change very much.

That’s not the case for SARS-CoV-2, and particularly the rapidly evolving omicron subvariants, which are good at evading existing immunity. Combine that with the fact that people’s immunity naturally wanes over time, Iwasaki said, and “it’s not that surprising to see a lot of reinfections now.”

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