However, the CDC estimates that just a fraction of total Covid-19 cases in the US have actually been reported. The latest estimates show that total cases may have topped 83 million through December. Along with the 5 million or so cases that have been reported in January, about 88 million people — more than a quarter of the US population — may actually be protected from Covid-19 after recovering from infection.
Experts say that people who have already had Covid-19 should still get the vaccine. The immunity you get from contracting Covid-19 does last for a certain amount of time, but the nature of the vaccine should provide longer immunity, according to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The CNN estimates of current protection against Covid-19 do not account for any potential overlap among individuals who may be counted in both the number of people who have been vaccinated and those who have been infected.
With at least one vaccine dose administered to about 6% of the population and potentially a quarter of the population immune after infection, as many as about 1 in 3 people in the US may currently be at least partially protected against Covid-19.
That said, trial data shows that one dose of vaccine only offers partial coverage. And while some studies found that immunity to Covid-19 may last years after infection, others have found it may wane after just five months.