Three new reports claim that coronavirus immunity can last for months after the body fights the virus off, and maybe even longer.
The discovery suggests that many, if not most, people who recover from coronavirus infections are safe for at least a period. They also offer that vaccines against the virus may protect people for more than just a few weeks.
A study revealed that people produce antibodies that ward them against infection and last for five to seven months.
Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunobiologist from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said:
“We have one person that is seven months out. We have a handful of people that are five to seven months out.”
His team noted in a recently published report:
“We conclude that neutralizing antibodies are stably produced for at least 5-7 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection,”
The team worked with county officials to check out Arizona volunteers since April 30, ever since a coronavirus blood test was available.
Just like many other researchers, they noticed antibodies to the coronavirus spiked immediately after infection and then crashed.
They also noticed that B cells that create antibodies form plasma cells. Bhattacharya said that typically “you get a ton of short-lived plasma cells.”
The antibodies that are created aren’t very efficient against the virus, though.
Sicker people had more intense immune responses. The people from the ICU presented higher antibody levels than those who had a milder disease. It’s not yet know how that could affect long-term immunity.
It’s estimated that only 10% of the population was infected with Covid-19, which means that we are a long way from herd immunity.
It turns out that two antibody types, known as IgM and IgA, first spiked and soon crushed. However, IgG antibodies lasted up to 115 days after the first symptoms, meaning that there is still hope!