Older people are not only more likely to get sicker or die from COVID-19; they’re more likely to catch it again, The Guardian reports.
Natural post-infection immunity gave people under-65 about 80% protection from reinfection for at least 6 months. But that plummeted to 47% for those 65 and up, according to a new Lancet study that draws on Denmark’s pool of 10.6 million tests.
Problem: The finding casts a pall over previous hopes that reinfection would be rare and that natural infection would confer more lasting immunity.
The Takeaways: The study could inform vaccination prioritization decisions and stir advocacy for vaccination of people previously infected.
It also underscores the need for stronger policies to protect older people during the pandemic, the Lancet authors say.
And Ageism: Ageism is a very real threat to health goals, according to a WHO/UN report published today that notes:
- Every second person in the world is believed to hold ageist attitudes
- Health care rationing based solely on age is widespread
- Ageism against older people is tied to poorer physical and mental health, loneliness, and decreased quality of life
Ageism directed at younger people also undermines health goals, they note.