People over 65 who have recovered from COVID-19 have a 50-50 chance of a second attack within six months of their first illness, a new study has found.
The odds are much better for younger, healthier people, but still not a sure thing, according to the Danish study, which was published in the Lancet medical journal.
About 80 percent of healthy people under age 65 did not suffer a second attack within six months of a first COVID-19 illness, according to the study, which looked at 4,000 test subjects.
The study shows that it remains important for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to get the boost of immunity provided by vaccination — and to continue with masking, hand-washing and social distancing protocols.
“Our study confirms what a number of others appeared to suggest: reinfection with COVID-19 is rare in younger, healthy people, but the elderly are at greater risk of catching it again,” Dr. Steen Ethelberg from the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark said in the study.
“Since older people are also more likely to experience severe disease symptoms, and sadly die, our findings make clear how important it is to implement policies to protect the elderly during the pandemic,” Ethelberg wrote.
“Given what is at stake, the results emphasize how important it is that people adhere to implement policies to protect the elderly during the pandemic.”