Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, that while people have been reinfected with the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, it appears as though the vaccine is better at preventing reinfection than a previous natural infection.
The variant first identified in South Africa is more problematic that the variant first identified in the United Kingdom, Fauci said, “in the sense that we know less about it vis a vis whether it transmits more readily or not.”
However, it is known that it evades the protection from some monoclonal antibodies, and it somewhat diminishes that effectiveness of the vaccine, Fauci said, but there is “still some cushion left so that the vaccine does provide some protection against it.”
He said attention needs to be paid to the fact that in South Africa there were people who were infected with the original virus, recovered and then got reinfected with the variant.
“Which tells us that prior infection does not protect you against reinfection – at least with this particular variant,” Fauci said. “Somewhat good news is it looks like the vaccine is better than natural infection in preventing you from getting reinfected with the South African isolate.”