Fact-Check: Does vaccination against Covid-19 guarantee lifelong immunity?

The Claim: Vaccination against Covid-19 guarantees one lifelong immunity
The Verdict: claim verdict

Dr Mark Dixon, a consultant physician and senior lecturer at NUST said not all variants can be effective against the emerging variants.

He said even after surviving Covid-19, one can still contract the virus after several months and one may still need to get vaccinated. 

“Most people have been asking this question and the answer is we don’t know for sure. However, there is evidence that after contracting and surviving Covid-19, immunity is not a lifelong guarantee. Although the vaccine is effective, it cannot be effective against all variants. What people can be encouraged to do is that even after vaccination, they may still need to mask up and follow all the other regulations,” said Dr Dixon.

Another medical practitioner, the secretary-general for Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights Dr Norman Matara, in an interview, explained to CITE that within three to six months of recovering from the virus, antibodies begin to depreciate hence making it possible for one to re-contract the virus.

“The virus is still new and we learn about it everyday. We really hoped that after recovering from it one gains permanent immunity. However we have heard of cases where after three months people who would have recovered contract the virus again,” said Dr Matara.

An article in ‘Coronavirus in Connecticut’ noted that the resurgence of Covid-19 cases has some concerned about reinfection, which health experts consider “quite rare,” but also cautioned the second time has often been worse than the original infection.


According to BNO, a Dutch international news agency that has been tracking reinfections, there were 25 reinfections globally between Aug. 24 and Nov. 10, and only two in the United States.

The article further quoted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s confirmation that Covid-19 reinfections are possible but quite rare and “is actively working to learn more about reinfection to inform public health action.”

The CDC reports that reinfection also occurs with other coronaviruses — the class of viruses that includes Covid-19, but also SARS, the common cold and other illnesses.

The centre cited a Kenyan study that found that 4 percent to 21 percent of people infected with endemic coronaviruses had two or more episodes of infection with the same virus species during a six-month period.

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