Right now, we do not know how long antibodies last after infection. There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from COVID-19, which is also known as natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Cases of reinfection with COVID-19 have been reported but remain rare. It’s important to remember that the virus that causes COVID-19 is very new, and scientists are actively working to study it.
Data from clinical trials indicate that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe in persons with evidence of a prior COVID-19 infection. Vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection, this includes people with prolonged post-COVID-19 symptoms. Viral testing to assess for COVID-19 infection or serologic testing to assess for prior infection solely for the purposes of vaccine decision-making is not recommended.
Vaccination of persons with known current COVID-19 infection should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation. This recommendation applies to persons who develop COVID-19 infection before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who develop infection after the first dose but before receipt of the second dose. While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests the risk of COVID-19 reinfection is low in the months after infection but may increase with time due to waning immunity.
Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States
CDC: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Vaccines