A Michigan Medicine study published in Microbiology Spectrum found that most patients with mild COVID-19 infections produce antibodies that persist and protect them from reinfection for up to six months. For the purpose of the study, researchers analyzed 130 subjects with PCR-confirmed Covid-19 illness between three and six months after their initial infection. Three of these patients were hospitalized while the rest experienced mild infection, with symptoms including headaches, chills and loss of taste or smell.
During the observation period, none of the subjects who produced antibodies were re-infected, compared to 15 antibody-negative patients. Schuler’s team also found that the antibodies’ ability to neutralize COVID-19 did not differ significantly from the first visit, which occurred three months after infection, to the second visit at the six-month mark.
“While some studies have suggested antibodies against COVID-19 wane over time, these findings provide strong prospective evidence for longer-term immunity for those who produce an immune response to mild infection,” said James Baker Jr., M.D., senior author of the paper and founding director of the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center at Michigan Medicine. “To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study that demonstrates such a risk reduction for clinical reinfection in this specific type of population.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR COVID VACCINATION ?
The article that presents this study also mentions another interesting study conducted in Kentucky and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This research found that unvaccinated people who had already been infected with Covid-19 were 2.34 times more likely to be infected again than fully vaccinated people, suggesting “vaccination provides additional protection against reinfection.” Still, it is important to mention that the research was conducted between March 2020 and Feb. 2021, months before the highly transmissible Delta variant became the dominant strain in many countries.
What we can conclude for now is that the antibodies produced in times of natural infection are a shield against Covid, but that they do not assure 100% immunity. The Covid vaccines are even more effective and are the most advanced way to fight against the virus for now.
Read the full article here.