As medical professionals continue to learn more about COVID-19, a new study from the United Kingdom(U.K), may provide some insight into how long immunity from the virus can last, if you already had it.
According to King’s London College, protection from Coronavirus, once someone recovers from it, may only last for a few months.
Researchers monitored COVID-19 anti-bodies in 96 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St.Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, a prestigious healthcare center in London, from March to June.
According to their findings, the rate of anti-bodies surged the first three weeks after recovery and then began to decline. Towards the end of their study, only 17% of subjects still had a strong level of anti-bodies. People with severe COVID cases had the most long-lasting antibodies, while people who had only mild cases had this enhanced immunity for just a couple of weeks.
Dr. Kate Doores PH.D., the lead author of the project and Professor of Organic Chemistry at King’s College, said “People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around.”
Jonathan Heeney, Professor of virology at the University Cambridge and another author of the study, said "I cannot underscore how important it is that the public understands that getting infected by this virus is not a good thing. Some of the public, especially the youth, have become somewhat cavalier about getting infected, thinking that they would contribute to herd immunity," he said.
He adds, "Not only will they place themselves at risk, and others, by getting infected, and losing immunity, they may even put themselves at greater risk of more severe lung disease if they get infected again in the years to come."
The study’s concluded that this "puts another nail in the coffin of the dangerous concept of herd immunity."
According to Dr.Doores, "Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing. People may need boosting and one shot might not be sufficient."
However, the analysis is not entirely bad news. Researchers note that T-cells, an important aspect of our immune systems, could aid our bodies in fighting off COVID-19, given they were effective against its predecessor, SARS-COV-2. Additionally, the author concluded that further testing was needed for accuracy on the length of protection against Coronavirus.