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New study suggests those who had COVID may not need vaccines

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new study shows that some people who had COVID-19 may not need to be vaccinated. But, not everyone agreed with the study’s findings.

Alabama health leaders said the study is interesting, but they are not ready to say if you had and recovered from COVID-19 you don’t need a shot.

The study was conducted on 52,000 healthcare workers at the Cleveland Clinic. It found no COVID infection among those who were vaccinated as well as those who had the coronavirus earlier and were not vaccinated.

“I read through that study and I have a few issues with it,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Dr. Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said the sample size was small for those who had COVID and were unvaccinated at just over 2,500. He added health care workers are also not representative of the general population.

“In the healthcare system, they are going to have access to appropriate high quality personal protective equipment that is meant to prevent infections with things like COVID-19,” Willeford said.

People who had COVID developed antibodies to protect them in the future. Willeford said there is still not enough evidence to show how long that immunity lasts.

The pluses of the study said it would allow better protection in areas with limited vaccines, but in much of the country there is an abundance of vaccines.

“If we are wrong about this, that means people’s lives will be impacted, that means people could be hospitalized, that means people could perish,” Willeford said.

Health leaders in Alabama don’t want to take this study as a reason not to get vaccinated. Willeford and others said a lot more studies are needed. Right now, the word continues to be from the CDC - get vaccinated even if you had COVID.

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