CDC: Prior COVID-19 infection provided good protection against delta variant

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What type of protection do you get if you’ve already had COVID-19?

"We do know that prior COVID infections seem to help, because people who have had COVID once before don’t have as high of an occurrence as new cases," Dr. David Scrase, acting secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, said.

New research from the CDC indicates that a prior case of COVID-19 appeared to protect people from infection better than vaccinations did. However, this research was done during the delta wave last summer and fall – a time when vaccine immunity was waning and boosters were not widespread.

"Even now we’re seeing omicron cases in people who’ve had delta," Scrase said. "So there’s no guarantee that the proteins and the antibodies that your body makes to fight off a specific version of COVID, which is how the immune system works. There’s no guarantee that whatever it constructed to attach to that, in this case, delta molecule, will work to attach to an omicron molecule."

It’s unclear if previous COVID infections will have an impact on someone’s chances of getting infected with the omicron variant.

Also, with the availability of vaccines and boosters, state health officials say there’s no reason to leave it up to chance. Vaccines are still the best way to prevent serious disease and death.