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COVID-19 immunity: Natural infection compared to vaccination

The British Society for Immunology has partnered with the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) to create an infographic which explains the difference in immunity against COVID-19 gained through natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 compared to vaccination. Scroll down this page to discover more, click the download link to print the graphic or share on social media tagging @britsocimm and @UKCICstudy to help strengthen public understanding.

The UK-CIC is looking at what parts of the immune system are involved in generating a protective response against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as after vaccination. It's likely that for most people vaccination against COVID-19 will induce more effective and longer lasting immunity than that induced by natural infection with the virus. Even if you've had COVID-19, you're recommended to get the vaccine because it will boost whatever immunity you have from natural infection.

Knowledge of COVID-19 and vaccine immunology will continue to evolve and this infographic is accurate at the time of publishing in June 2021.

Download this infographic (PDF for printing)

Download this infographic (PNG for use on social media)

If you are interested in translating these resources into another language, please email Please do not translate these resources without our permission.

Common questions about COVID-19 vaccines are answered in our free, easy-to-read guide.

A guide to vaccinations for COVID-19

Find out more about UK-CIC research, as well as how Patient and Public Involvement is central to the success of the project.

UK-CIC website for the public