Is COVID-19 vaccination still necessary, even after getting infected with the virus and recovering?

Is COVID-19 vaccination still necessary, even after getting infected with the virus and recovering? 

Evidence is growing that vaccination after infection strengthens protection and further reduces the risk of reinfection. Therefore, COVID-19 vaccination is generally recommended for the eligible population, including those who have recovered from the disease.

Will COVID-19 vaccines stop the pandemic? 

It is likely that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will continue to circulate and evolve. It is not possible to predict how infectious or severe new variants of the virus will be. It is therefore very important to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage across all communities and population groups, at national and international levels. Vaccination remains a key component of the multi-layered approach needed to reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2.

What are the common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines? The most commonly-reported events with COVID-19 vaccines are expected vaccine side effects, such as headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever and chills and pain at the site of injection. The occurrence of these adverse events is consistent with what is already known about the vaccines from clinical trials.

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective? 

COVID-19 vaccines authorised for use in the EU/EEA have been very effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death.

In general, benefits of COVID-19 vaccines may include:

  • preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaccinated individuals
  • reducing disease severity, if vaccinated individuals are infected
  • preventing death in vaccinated individuals
  • reducing the number of people infected in populations with adequate vaccine uptake
  • reducing virus transmission in populations with adequate vaccine uptake.

Is COVID-19 vaccination still necessary, even after getting infected with the virus and recovering? – Additional Questions

How do we achieve herd immunity against COVID-19?

To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of a population would need to be vaccinated, lowering the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population.

Can masks prevent the transmission of COVID-19?

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Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.

If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!
Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.

Do smokers suffer from worse COVID-19 symptoms?

Early research indicates that, compared to non-smokers, having a history of smoking may substantially increase the chance of adverse health outcomes for COVID-19 patients, including being admitted to intensive care, requiring mechanical ventilation and suffering severe health consequences.

Can COVID-19 vaccines protect people against the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it has mutated?

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Vaccines against some viral diseases remain effective for many years and provide long-lasting protection. Others, such as the flu vaccine, need to be regularly updated to remain effective. This is because viruses constantly mutate when they circulate among people.

Many SARS-CoV-2 mutations have no impact on vaccine effectiveness, but some are of concern due to a possible reduction in how well the existing vaccines will work. Scientists around the world are carefully monitoring mutations of SARS-CoV-2 virus to assess how well the currently available COVID-19 vaccines can protect people against them, and vaccine producers are exploring ways to update vaccines as necessary to improve protection as new variants are detected.

Even with some COVID-19 vaccines’ reduced effectiveness against some of the new variants, COVID-19 vaccines are expected to offer some protection from severe forms of the disease.

Can I get COVID-19 while swimming?

The COVID-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming. However, the virus spreads between people when someone has close contact with an infected person.


Avoid crowds and maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others, even when you are swimming or at swimming areas. Wear a mask when you’re not in the water and you can’t stay distant. Clean your hands frequently, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow, and stay home if you’re unwell.

Do vaccinated individuals still need to apply personal protective measures during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Vaccinated individuals should continue to follow public health measures, as per national recommendations. People who are vaccinated can still get infected and infect others, though this occurs much less often than in people who are unvaccinated.

Is self-isolation recommended for those with COVID-19?

Self-isolation at home has been recommended for those diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who suspect they have been infected. Health agencies have issued detailed instructions for proper self-isolation. Many governments have mandated or recommended self-quarantine for entire populations.

What is the percentage of people who need to be immune against COVID-19 in order to achieve herd immunity?

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We are still learning about immunity to COVID-19. Most people who are infected with COVID-19 develop an immune response within the first few weeks, but we don’t know how strong or lasting that immune response is, or how it differs for different people. There have also been reports of people infected with COVID-19 for a second time.

Until we better understand COVID-19 immunity, it will not be possible to know how much of a population is immune and how long that immunity last for, let alone make future predictions. These challenges should preclude any plans that try to increase immunity within a population by allowing people to get infected.

What is the purpose of social and physical distancing as defined by the World Health Organization?

Social and physical distancing measures aim to slow the spread of disease by stopping chains of transmission of COVID-19 and preventing new ones from appearing.

These measures secure physical distance between people (of at least one metre), and reduce contact with contaminated surfaces, while encouraging and sustaining virtual social connection within families and communities.

What is social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Individuals may apply social distancing methods by staying at home, limiting travel, avoiding crowded areas, using no-contact greetings, and physically distancing themselves from others. Many governments are now mandating or recommending social distancing in regions affected by the outbreak.

How can physical distancing help during COVID-19 pandemic?

Physical distancing helps limit the spread of COVID-19 – this means we keep a distance of at least 1m from each other and avoid spending time in crowded places or in groups.

What are the most important measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools?

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As in other confined spaces, important measures to prevent the spread of infection in schools include:

  • physical distancing
  • improved ventilation
  • promotion of ‘stay-at-home when sick’ policies
  • promotion of respiratory etiquette
  • proper hand hygiene and regular hand washing
  • use of masks when feasible (considerations may differ by age of the child).

Physical distancing measures should aim to decrease the number of individuals in tight or closed spaces, while ensuring schooling can take place. Physical distancing can be achieved by:

  • grouping classes and groups based on infection risk and status (i.e. cohorting)
  • ensuring physical distance in the classroom (e.g. separating tables)
  • reducing class sizes
  • staggering arrival times, as well as meal and break times
  • holding classes outdoors.

How likely are children to catch and transmit COVID-19 in school settings?

Most children do not develop symptoms when infected with the virus, or they develop a very mild form of the disease. However, research has shown that children can become infected, and can spread the virus to other children and adults while they are infectious.

What benefits would school re-opening provide?

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School closures have clear negative impacts on child health, education and development, family income and the overall economy.

The decision to reopen schools should include consideration of the following benefits:

• Allowing students to complete their studies and continue to the next level
• Essential services, access to nutrition, child welfare, such as preventing violence against children
• Social and psychological well-being
• Access to reliable information on how to keep themselves and others safe
• Reducing the risk of non-return to school
• Benefit to society, such as allowing parents to work

When should schools close during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Since schools are an essential part of society and children’s lives, widespread school closures should be seen as a last resort and only considered after other measures have been put in place to contain the spread of the disease.

When was COVID-19 declared a pandemic?

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

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