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October 12, 2022

Immune Imprinting and Protection Against Repeat Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2

To the editor:

More than 2 years into the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the global population carries heterogeneous immune histories derived from various exposures to infection, viral variants, and vaccination.1 Evidence at the level of binding and neutralizing antibodies and B-cell and T-cell immunity suggests that a history of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can have a negative effect on subsequent protective immunity.1 In particular, the immune response to B.1.1.529 (omicron) subvariants could be compromised by differential immune imprinting in persons who have had a previous infection with the original virus or the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant.1

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