Necessity of COVID-19 Vaccination in Persons Who Have Already Had COVID-19

Authors: Nabin K ShresthaPatrick C BurkeAmy S NowackiPaul TerpelukSteven M Gordon

Clinical Infectious Diseases, ciac022, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciac022

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in persons with prior COVID-19.Methods

Employees of Cleveland Clinic working in Ohio on Dec 16, 2020, the day COVID-19 vaccination was started, were included. Anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 at least once before the study start date was considered previously infected. One was considered vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. The cumulative incidence of COVID-19, symptomatic COVID-19, and hospitalizations for COVID-19, were examined over the next year.Results

Among 52238 employees, 4718 (9%) were previously infected, and 36922 (71%) were vaccinated by the study’s end. Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was substantially higher throughout for those previously uninfected who remained unvaccinated than for all other groups, lower for the vaccinated than unvaccinated, and lower for those previously infected than those not. Incidence of COVID-19 increased dramatically in all groups after the Omicron variant emerged. In multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, both prior COVID-19 and vaccination were independently associated with significantly lower risk of COVID-19. Among previously infected subjects, a lower risk of COVID-19 overall was not demonstrated, but vaccination was associated with a significantly lower risk of symptomatic COVID-19 in both the pre-Omicron (HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.40–0.90) and Omicron (HR 0.36, 95% CI 0.23–0.57) phases.Conclusions

Both previous infection and vaccination provide substantial protection against COVID-19. Vaccination of previously infected individuals does not provide additional protection against COVID-19 for several months, but after that provides significant protection at least against symptomatic COVID-19.SARS-CoV-2COVID-19IncidenceVaccinesImmunityTopic: 

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