Iris Koh contracts Covid-19, says she may have 'immunity for life' despite experts saying otherwise

A prior Covid-19 infection does not guarantee you won't be infected again.

Sulaiman Daud | March 18, 2022, 07:44 PM

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Anti-vaccine group founder Iris Koh said she tested positive for Covid-19 and (wrongly) believes that it may give her a lifetime immunity to the virus.

In a Facebook post on March 15, Koh said that she contracted Covid after "many days of living with a Covid positive spouse".

Koh, sounding upbeat, said she experienced a fever and sore throat but still could smell and taste and is feeling "quite ok".

More unvaccinated people die from Covid-19 as compared to vaccinated people

Earlier this year, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung confirmed that over 70 per cent of deaths in Singapore in 2021 due to Covid-19 were made up of unvaccinated individuals.

Koh also speculated that she now has "immunity for life due to her infection.

Screenshot from Koh's Facebook page.

This is inaccurate. According to Johns Hopkins, "natural" immunity conferred by a Covid infection wanes over time, and does so faster than the immunity provided by a vaccination.

It also recommends that people who have been infected should still get vaccinated for added protection, and also due to the fact that "natural" immunity varies in different individuals.

Also, people infected with earlier variants of Covid-19 may still be vulnerable to newer variants.

An article claiming a Covid infection leads to immunity for life was criticised by the senior author of the study the article was citing.

A Singapore study found that immunity from a prior Covid infection varies greatly in different people, and people who have recovered may still get infected again, the Straits Times reported in March 2021.

Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, an expert on infectious diseases at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public, said in a Straits Times interview that the "likelihood of a lifelong immunity post-infection or post-booster" is "extremely unlikely.

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Top image from Iris Koh Facebook page.

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