September 28, 2022
Covid-19 news: Reinfection eight times higher with omicron than delta

By Michael Le Page, Clare Wilson, Jessica Hamzelou, Sam Wong, Graham Lawton, Adam Vaughan, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Jason Arunn Murugesu, Layal Liverpool, Matt Hambly, Carissa Wong, Alex Wilkins and Alexandra Thompson

In the UK, the risk of being reinfected with covid-19 was considerably more likely when the omicron variant was dominant, from 20 December 2021 to 13 May 2022, compared with when the delta variant was surging, defined as 17 May to 19 December 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The finding is part of the ONS’ Coronavirus Infection Survey, which measures how many people are testing positive for covid-19 and the prevalence of antibodies against the virus across the UK.

Early analyses of the omicron variant in South Africa suggested a higher reinfection risk. A separate study from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Research looked at reinfection in healthcare workers, similarly finding the risk was higher with omicron.

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