Authors: Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Nigel Tungwarara, Itai Chitungo, Munashe Chimene, Patrick Gad Iradukunda, Moreblessing Mashora, Grant Murewanhema, Gallican Nshogoza Rwibasira, and Godfrey Musuka.
Despite an array of preventive global public health interventions, SARS-CoV-2 has continued to spread significantly, infecting millions of people across the globe weekly. Newer variants of interest and concern have continued to emerge, placing the need for policymakers to rethink prevention strategies to end the pandemic. The approval of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for public health use in December 2020 was seen as a significant development towards pandemic control and possibly ending the pandemic. However, breakthrough infections have continued to be observed among the ‘fully vaccinated’, and the duration and sustainability of vaccine-induced immunity has remained a topical public health discourse. In the absence of accurate public health communication, the breakthrough infections and waning immunity concepts have potential to further compound vaccine hesitancy. With this viewpoint, we discuss breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections, waning immunity, the need for COVID-19 booster shots, vaccine inequities, and the need to address vaccine hesitancy adequately to propel global vaccination programs forward.