MAINSTREAM article summary -> "Rare as reinfection may be, it proves that coronavirus reinfection is possible, experts say."
Nearly 400,000 Canadians who contracted COVID-19 have recovered - and that's just those officially reported.
While there is a growing body of research that suggests antibodies can be present for months after infection, experts agree it's still important to get the vaccine.
"Just because you got infected, doesn't mean you're immune," said Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist with the University of Ottawa.
"What does it gain us if people who have been infected and recovered do not seek the vaccine? Not much."
What about immunity following illness?
When you catch COVID-19, your body makes antibodies that find and destroy the virus in your system. This leaves you with COVID-19-specific antibodies and immune cells that can fight off the infection.
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These antibodies can protect you from catching it again, but for how long? That, experts say, is not yet known.
Read more: How long does coronavirus immunity last? Some studies suggest months
The current thinking is that antibody levels start to wane after a few months, particularly in milder or asymptomatic cases. But there's no way to know for sure, said Deonandan.
"There is a whole range of different immunogenic responses. Some people with mild symptoms produce very few antibodies if any. Some people with high symptoms produce a lot of antibodies," he said.
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