May be important, maybe not

A report this week from Seattle researchers about a man who was infected twice with Sars-CoV-2.

This report joins about 2 dozen others (not all officially detailed in published studies) about people who have become infected with a new Sars-CoV-2 infection after overcoming a first bout.

This is determined, by the way, by very detailed testing about the genetic footprint of the virus, in which researchers can determine that a new Sars-CoV-2 infection was really due to a different virus and not merely the reactivation of an old virus that didn’t clear permanently.

So is this really bad news for everyone else, especially for vaccine development since in these people, clearly an original immune response wasn’t sufficient to prevent re-infection?

That’s pretty doubtful.

Stands to reason, I think, that among the millions and millions of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 , a handful will become re-infected, probably because for undetermined reasons their immune response waned quickly.

But unless these cases begin to add up to significant numbers, and we can only hope they never do, it’s still pretty likely that these sorts of re-infections are rare events that should not have any implications for vaccine development.

Time will tell, of course.