New COVID-19 Variants: 7 Key Questions Answered By Experts
Can people with previous COVID-19 infections be reinfected by the new variants?
This is something that research still need to investigate. When it comes to the original coronavirus, it has been discovered that a person who already had COVID-19 can have at least five months of immunity.
One study from South Africa revealed that the new variant could dodge antibodies created after infection with the common COVID-19 strain. This might mean that the treatment of infected patients with plasma from people who’ve already had COVID-19 has no effect.
However, more clinical data is required before researchers can come up with a common answer. See also If I’ve Already Had COVID-19, Do I Still Need the Vaccine?
Do the new variants affect children differently?
The earlier coronavirus strain hasn’t affected children as much as it has adults. When the new variants emerged, there were growing concerns that these might impact children differently, in a more severe way. According to Gronvall, evidence so far suggests this is not the case.
“It’s not associated with more serious illness or a higher death rate for children,” confirms Cara Natterson, MD, pediatrician, author, and founder of OOMLA. Scientists, however, are trying to find out as fast as possible if the B.1.1.7 variant spreads more easily among children, which could significantly increase transmission.