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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Millions of people across the country have already had COVID-19 since the pandemic began two years ago. Many of those who recovered also received protection from the virus for weeks or months because of the antibodies that develop.

But that may begin to change.

“The one important thing I think people need to pay attention to, so far we have seen few reinfections and mostly in immunocompromised and people who have been, you know, fairly long time after the initial infection. That’s going to change,” Raghu Adiga, chief medical officer at Liberty Hospital, said.

He made the comment during a COVID-19 update with the University of Kansas Health System Friday morning.

A recent study by Imperial College London found the risk of reinfection from the omicron variant is more than five times higher that delta. The study also determined that there is no evidence of omicron being milder than other variants, even with contradicting reports from South Africa.

The study was based on data provided by the UK Health Security Agency and National Health Service in England between Nov. 29 and Dec. 11.

The study has not been peer reviewed yet, but Imperial College released a statement saying that the protection someone would receive from a previous COVID-19 infection may be as low as 19% against omicron.

Researchers also found that being just two weeks late getting a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks late for a booster increased the chance of getting omicron and developing symptoms.

Kansas City doctors and health experts say it is critical for everyone to be fully vaccinated and to also get a booster dose as soon as you are eligible.