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A World First: Effect of Covid Reinfection on People Living With Long Covid

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Long Covid Support and Long Covid Kids publish the first data on the effect of COVID reinfections on adults and children living with Long Covid.

Long Covid Kids recommends reading this article in combination with our child-specific infection analysis blog which runs from the beginning of the pandemic to 1st April 2022 when final protections in England were removed.

Prof Daniel M Altmann, Professor of Immunology, Department of Immunology and Inflammation, Imperial College, Faculty of Medicine and Trustee of Long Covid Support

“Living in times of ‘let’s move on now and just learn to live with it’, this survey offers a reminder that BA.5 is highly infectious, still at a high caseload, and any sense of ‘we’ve all had it anyway so there’s nothing to lose is misplaced. BA.5 infection or reinfection accounts for several hundred thousand cases of new Long Covid or exacerbated Long Covid, wrecking lives.”

Sammie McFarland, CEO & Founder, Long Covid Kids

“These findings further highlight the importance of taking preventive steps to mitigate against airborne virus transmission, such as improving indoor ventilation in schools to prevent the burden of Long Covid increasing in children.”

Margaret O’Hara, Founding Trustee, Long Covid Support

“Our research underlines the importance of avoiding reinfection, even for people who recovered from COVID-19 previously. While vaccines reduce the severity of acute Covid, they do not prevent large numbers of people from developing Long Covid and suffering its devastating effects. The only way to prevent Long Covid is to avoid catching Covid.”


__Reinfections in Long Covid Survey Report by Long Covid Support and Long Covid Kids 08092
Download • 439KB


Analysis: Children And Young People Only

For 54% of infections, the severity of the second acute infection was the same or worse than the first compared with just 40% of all respondents including adults

  • 96 child respondents still had LC at the time of their first infection

  • Of these, 45% had additional new symptoms with their reinfection

  • 27% had a return of some old symptoms (compared with 45% of all respondents) and

  • 28% had no new or additional symptoms

For 79% of child respondents, reinfections made at least some of their Long Covid worse. This is similar to all respondents including adults

  • 19 child respondents reported having been in remission or recovered at the time of reinfection

  • Of these, 58% got Long Covid again.

  • This is similar to all respondents including adults. Note n=11

Severity of the second bout of Long Covid compared to the first bout. This is similar to all respondents including adults. Note n=11

After which infection did you first get Long Covid? The response is similar to all respondents including adults.

Vaccine status of CYP respondents

Did the vaccines have an effect on your Long Covid?

  • 65% of vaccinated child respondents (n=55) said the vaccines had no effect on their Long Covid

  • This is higher than the 39% of all respondents including adults


Next steps

We are in the process of writing to the U.K Health Secretary and other health ministers to request a meeting to discuss these findings and will update this blog when we have more information.

Find out more about our visit to No 10 Downing Street on 1st April 2022 to launch the new Long Covid Kids' Support Guide.



In 2021 Long Covid Kids became the first UK-based, international registered charity advocating for families, children and young people living with Long Covid.

The charity focuses on recognition, support and recovery, has already received recognition from the NHS and the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, and is a recommended resource in the NICE Long Covid guidelines.

Our Mission


  • We believe all children should be able to thrive and look forward to a positive future. That is why we represent and support children and young people living with Long Covid and related illnesses and the parents and caregivers that look after them.

Our Vision

  • To achieve recognition, support and recovery for Long Covid and related illnesses in children and young people

Support Our Work

While children are living with life-changing symptoms and families struggle to seek support, we need to be here. Your donation will be used directly to support families living with Long Covid. Find out more about our Impact.




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