Can You Get COVID-19 Twice?

Photo Courtesy: Marko Geber/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked ongoing fear and uncertainty about the dangers of the novel coronavirus, particularly as case counts began to rise and scientists developed a clearer picture of the full scope of the disease's range of health effects. Although preventative measures like the lockdowns and quarantines we saw throughout much of 2020 likely curbed COVID-19's spread to a large degree, many people — dealing perhaps with pandemic fatigue — eventually relaxed their vigilance.

Activity levels once again began to rise around the world, particularly during 2020's winter holiday season, which led to renewed restrictions and shutdowns. Due to spikes in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, some countries — England, France and Germany, for example — and some U.S. states temporarily renewed restrictions and shutdowns. Based on information provided by the World Health Organization, the worldwide death toll rose into the millions, and the number of confirmed infections in the U.S. and around the world continued to increase.

Of course, the fact that millions of people have recovered from the virus gives us hope, as does the fact that vaccines have been approved and millions more of us have received them. But one critical question doesn't seem to have a concrete answer: Could the millions of people who already had COVID-19 and recovered get sick again? Many of us take comfort in the idea that everyone who has been infected and survived will be immune to reinfection, but is that actually true? Here’s a look at the latest information on the possibility of getting COVID-19 twice.