Severity of COVID-19 reinfection depends on health, immunity level, says expert

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 01 2022 07:02 PM

MANILA — A health expert said the severity of COVID-19 reinfection depends on many factors, including a person’s health and level of immunity against the virus.

Vaccine Expert Panel head Dr. Nina Gloriani made the statement Friday amid reports that a person is more likely to contract the severe form of COVID-19 when reinfected by the virus. 

“Ang reinfection ay nakabase rin dun sa previous exposure ng isang tao at ang kanyang medical at immune status, so hindi po natin mage-generalize 'yan. So sino ang magkakaroon ng infection na mild, ito po 'yung maganda 'yung kanyang immune response dun sa previous infection, or even sa vaccine, so magiging mild 'yan or asymptomatic ang reinfection niya,” she said during a Laging Handa briefing.

“Pero somebody na hindi naging maganda ang kanyang response o nagkaroon siya ng infection before, natural infection, tapos hindi maganda ang kanyang immunity, ay pwedeng ma-reinfect na mas grabe, and then ganon din 'yung mga may nabakunahan na for one reason or another ay hindi sufficient yung nagenerate nilang immune response kapag na-reinfect sila ay baka mas matindi," she added.

The presence of many COVID-19 variants should also be taken into account when determining whether a person would be more likely to get more severe COVID-19 reinfection, Gloriani said, explaining that a person who was earlier infected with delta variant would have a stronger immune response against the same variant.

“Pero kapag omicron naman ang dumating dito sa nagkaroon ng delta, ay mag-e-evade 'yung immunity, so hindi siya magiging effective,” she said.

Health authorities continue to advise the public to continue to follow health protocols and get vaccinated and/or boosted as protection against COVID-19 infections.

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