Is there a need for people previously infected with Covid-19 to get vaccinated?

A Twitter user with the username @tatendamsika claimed that there is no need to be vaccinated after contracting covid 19 and recovering from it. “I have wondered the same as well, one would think after getting Covid and fighting it off your body will have produced enough antibodies to fight re-infection and there is no need to be vaccinated,” read the tweet.

Verdict: Misleading

An antibody can be defined as protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenetic bacteria and viruses.

Zimbabwe is currently the rolling out the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. 

Contacted for a comment, Acting Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director, Dr Welcome Mlilo said there are recorded cases of people getting reinfected with Covid-19

“The science does not confirm that because we have recorded incidents of people getting re-infected with Covid-19, some actually within a very short time frame, So I think those have been recorded in some cases worldwide,” said Mlilo.

“The studies have also shown that the antibodies following infection do not last for a long period, they start as high but decrease over time such that the protective defect is not really maintained”.

He added that there is a need for people who were infected with Covid-19 to get vaccinated even though the guidance on that depends on the type of vaccine in use.

“There is a need for people to actually get vaccinated but then there is guidance on different vaccines, on when the person should get vaccinated, should happen when, following Covid infection.

“Some guidance says, depending on the covid vaccine that is in use, some guidance say you will have to wait 90 days, for some vaccines even up to six months following the initial covid-19 infection,” said Mlilo.

Meanwhile, The Centres for Disease Control’s guidance says people who were infected by Covid-19 can get the vaccine.

“Due to the severe health risks associated with Covid-19 and the fact that reinfection with Covid-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had Covid-19 infection,” said CDC.

The CDC adds that,” when someone is infected with SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, their immune system creates antibodies, which are proteins that fight off infection and help prevent future infections from occurring, that is called natural immunity”.

 An infectious disease physician at the University of North Carolina, Dr David Wohl told ‘CNBC Make It’   that studies on people who were exposed to Covid and then recovered have shown that their antibodies remained pretty stable and only dropped ‘modestly’ after six or eight months.

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