COVID-19 re-infection might mean repeat vaccination

Syazwani Hj Rosli

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar commented on the re-infection of a former COVID-19 patient outside Brunei where the person was infected with two different strains of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Such a case tells us two things. First, of course, a person can be re-infected when their antibody is low. From there, we know that when you are infected, it does not ensure that you will be immune for a year or even more. This is from just one person. We need to learn more from other cases. However, from this individual, we know that the antibody most likely does not last long. It is also likely that the vaccine needs to be given twice a year,” said the minister.

Such a case, said the minister, impacts the treatment for COVID-19 patients.

“It means more vaccine is needed and the cost will be doubled. The current vaccine is at Phase 3 of its clinical trial. Once the result is out and is good, then Insya Allah they should be able to mass produce the vaccine”, said the minister.

According to the minister, many are still waiting to see which vaccine is effective.
“Just because it enters Phase 3 trial does not mean that it is going to work. We still need to monitor it. For Brunei, we are working closely with World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to get updates on this trial”.