Three new reports just published show coronavirus immunity can last for months, and maybe even longer.
The findings suggest that many, if not most, people who recover from coronavirus infections are protected for at least a period of time. They also suggest that coronavirus vaccines may be able to protect people for more than just a few weeks.
One study found that people produce antibodies against coronavirus that last for at least five to seven months.
“We have one person that is seven months out. We have a handful of people that are five to seven months out,” Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunobiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, told CNN.
“We conclude that neutralizing antibodies are stably produced for at least 5-7 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” his team wrote in a report published in the journal Immunity.
They have been working with county officials to test volunteers in Arizona since April 30, ever since they developed a blood test for coronavirus.
Like many researchers, they found antibodies to the coronavirus spiked immediately following infection and then crashed. But a few cells known as B cells stayed around and kept producing antibodies, whose levels built up again over time.
People who were sicker had a stronger immune response, Bhattacharya said. “The people sampled from the ICU had higher levels of antibodies than people who had milder disease.” He doesn’t yet know what that will mean for long-term immunity.
Two other studies also support the idea of long-lasting immunity. Read here for more.