Post-infection coronavirus immunity usually robust after 8 months, study shows

Post-infection coronavirus immunity usually robust after 8 months, study shows

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Wed, 01/13/2021 – 03:00

After recovering from coronavirus, scientists estimate that people are protected against re-infection for at least 8 months and possibly even for months or years beyond that. Reporting in Science, they note that approximately 90% of the nearly 200 patients studied demonstrated persistent, robust immunity to the virus after an initial infection. Looking at blood samples from the patients, the researchers discovered the human body not only employs antibodies in the continued immune response but also killer T cells, which work together to fend off potential new infections. The research out of La Jolla Institute for Immunology is based on specimens obtained as far back as 9 months, but the lack of older data means the full duration of immunity is still anyone’s guess. In addition, team members note, people cannot know ahead of time if they will be among the 90% of coronavirus survivors who benefit from lingering immunity. The other 10% experience a diminished immune response, although no one knows why. “If I had COVID, I would still not throw away my masks, I would not go to rave parties,” says study co-author Alessandro Sette.