Local health officials advise previously infected individuals to get COVID-19 vaccine to prevent re-infection

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — According to health officials, individuals previously infected with COVID-19 should not put off getting a shot.

Dr. Keith Williamson said that re-infection is certainly possible.

“While natural immunity does exist, it does tend to fade out over time and that, in fact, the vaccine-induced immunity is more efficient and more durable than the natural immunity in this case,” Dr. Williamson said.

Reasons why he is hoping everyone considers rolling up their sleeve to get vaccinated.

“My recommendation is that even if you’ve had covid before, as soon as you’re over the symptoms and out of isolation, get that vaccination because there is no sure promise that having had covid will make you immune,” Dr. Williamson said.

In Wichita County, there have been 47 reported cases of COVID-19 re-infection.

A number that Wichita County Health Department Assistant Director Amy Fagan said could grow, especially if recently infected individuals avoid getting the vaccine.

“For those people who had COVID back during that huge spike that we had, I’m really hoping that if those individuals haven’t been vaccinated, that they will consider doing so because they are running out of that kind of residual immunity once they’ve had COVID,” Fagan said.

Once re-infected, Fagan said the severity of symptoms can range from extreme to mild.

“I would say the majority experience the same to similar symptoms or less severity. But that’s just, ya know, we only have the 47,” Fagan said.

It’s why Dr. Williamson believes it’s just easier for everyone to get the vaccine, even if it isn’t perfect.

“We expect to be 100 percent protected. Unfortunately, that is simply not how vaccines work in the real world. There is no perfect vaccine that will completely eliminate your chances of getting the illness for all time,” Dr. Williamson said.

Protection worth a shot.

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