A new study led by Public Health England has examined the effects of infection and survival of COVID-19 amongst volunteer health workers in the UK. This study has found that past COVID infection can reduce the chances of reinfection of the virus by around 83%, for a minimum of 5 months. The Co-Leader of the study, Susan Hopkins, has suggested that while the majority of those who contract the virus and possess antibodies have no chance of contracting the virus again, it is unclear how long this protection lasts, and if it is true for every patient. 2 of the cases of reinfection were deemed “probable”, and the other 42 “possible”. The two who had reportedly “probably” contracted COVID-19 twice, said that their symptoms were less severe the second time that they were infected. However, it is important to note that this study was carried out prior to the new UK (Kent) variant of COVID-19 becoming widespread, and therefore cannot incorporate that variant into their findings. When considering that the vaccine is reportedly 90% effective, and the immunity rate following infection is 83% effective, it raises the question as to whether getting the vaccine is necessary at all. However, the vaccine can be altered to respond specifically to the new COVID variants, whereas it is unclear whether past infection from one strain can protect the victim against another. As well as the fact that being previously infected would still allow a patient to carry coronavirus and infect other people, it is clear that the vaccine is the preferable and safer choice.