SARS-COV-2, can you be over it?

Alessandro Fiocchi, Erika Jensen-Jarolim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Uncertainty has surrounded the duration of immunity against SARS CoV-2. This concerns both the duration of vaccine immunity and the duration of natural immunity. We aim to critically review the information available today, and draw practical conclusions. Methods: This is a narrative review of the recently published information on the topic, compared with the knowledge we already have of the behavior of various viral infectious agents. Results: It is too early to have any meaningful information on the duration of vaccine immunity against SARS CoV-2. For those who already had the infeciton, the rate of reinfection is very low. Most reinfections are due to laboratory errors, to incomplete cure of the primary infection, to the supervening immunodeficiency of the host, or to pre-existing immunodeficiency made evident by the SARS CoV-2 infection. The available studies on the immunology of the infection converge in indicating that it generates a robust and persistent immunity. This behavior does not differ from that of respiratory viruses known to date: in naturally occurring viral respiratory infections, reinfections are exceptional. Conclusions and implications: The civil community awaits suggestions from scientists not only to protect susceptible people, but to be able to safely resume activities made uncertain by the pandemic. From the information we have to-date, we suggest that, in principle, patients who have already overcome the infection should not be prioritized to the SARS CoV-2 vaccine. Instead, they could be provided with an immunological passport that allows them to resume a normal social life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100514
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Immune passport
  • Immunization
  • Pediatric
  • SARS-COV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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