Recently, the notion of a reinfection threshold in epidemiological models of only partial immunity has been debated in the literature. We present a rigorous analysis of a model of reinfection which shows a clear threshold behaviour at the parameter point where the reinfection threshold was originally described. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this threshold is the mean field version of a transition in corresponding spatial models of immunization. The reinfection threshold corresponds to the transition between annular growth of an epidemics spreading into a susceptible area leaving recovered behind and compact growth of a susceptible-infected-susceptible region growing into a susceptible area. This transition between annular growth and compact growth was described in the physics literature long before the reinfection threshold debate broke out in the theoretical biology literature.