COLUMBIA - Creating immunity against COVID-19 varies for each person.

Chief Medical Officer at Boone Hospital Center Dr. Robin Blount said they're unsure how effective natural immunity is.

“When I say natural immunity, I mean somebody who’s got COVID and probably developed some antibodies to it,” Dr. Blount said. “Some people develop a lot of antibodies and some don’t.”

Dr. Blount said as of now it seems the coronavirus vaccine seems to be more reliable for protective immunity. She also stated that someone could still be an asymptomatic spreader.

“Even though you may not be sick, having the antibodies and vaccine, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t have some virus in your nasal passage and eventually spread it to somebody else.”

Dr. Blount said it is possible to get COVID-19 twice, and there have been a number of cases identified.

Fulton resident Faren Brown said she’s contracted COVID-19 twice.

Brown said she tested positive for COVID-19 when the virus was fairly new for the United States in February 2020 and contracted it again December 2020.

Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, MU Health Care Pediatric Infectious Disease expert said she has seen cases of people getting the virus twice.

“The best theory that we have is that they are getting reinfected with a little different strand of the virus and it can make people have symptoms again the second time around,” Dr. Ilboudo said.

Brown said her symptoms were more severe the first time than the second.

“The first time I got it, I had a lot of breathing issues,” Brown said. “I had been to the hospital a few times.”

The second time Brown contracted the virus her symptoms were mild; loss of taste and smell.

Dr. Blount said Missouri residents need to protect themselves with masks until the heavy burden of COVID-19 in Missouri communities decreases.

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