CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Health experts warned on Tuesday that immunity from previous COVID infections may not last as long as once believed.
“I think, however you slice it, there’s a lot of COVID out there like I mentioned we’re undercounting,” said Dr. David Priest, Novant Health’s Chief Safety, Quality, and Epidemiology Officer.
Priest said there’s a reason why so many people are getting re-infected with COVID in the last few weeks.
“For a long time, the CDC has said, hey if you get infected for COVID, you’re probably protected for 90 days,” said Priest. “In people who’ve had [Omicron], I’m not sure they get protected for 90 days with BA.4 and [BA.] 5 around.”
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He said no longer is there a 90-day immunity thanks to the new strains of the virus called BA.4 and BA.5. So that means, even if people caught omicron in the spring, they could still catch the virus again and soon.
He said there is immunity built up if someone has had COVID. But it depends on when.
“I would not count having had COVID in January of this year, I would count it of having it two weeks ago,” said Priest.
Cases have plateaued in Mecklenburg County, staying steady for a few weeks now. Priest said things should slow down… eventually.
“At some point, it’s going to run out of people to infect. It’s that contagious and moving that rapidly and hopefully, in the weeks ahead, we will see a downturn,” said Priest.