The level of protection someone gets after a COVID infection varies from person to person.
Exactly how long protection lasts after a COVID infection isn’t one-size-fits-all. A few factors make it impossible to say exactly how long you’re protected from reinfection.
Earlier in the pandemic, experts theorized most people had about a 90-day immunity window. However, according to Dr. Stuart Ray, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, there have been times when someone has been reinfected a few weeks after their original bout of sickness and times when someone is protected for months and months. With these new, more transmissible variants, there is no way to predict which category you’ll fall into.
“Often the immunity from prior infection or vaccination protects people from severe disease, but one of the challenges in this pandemic is people vary so much in their immune responses,” Ray said. “Both because of named immunocompromised states as well as individualized variation. It is very hard to provide generalized guidance.”