UPDATED 4:49 PM PT – Wednesday, May 26, 2021
New research has confirmed people who have recovered from COVID-19 have a lasting antibody protection from the virus. A study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found natural immunity from COVID-19 has the potential to last up to 11 months after the infection.
In addition, researchers found ongoing exposure to the virus may provide even longer-lasting protection without the risk of severe illness. Scientists have said 99.4 percent of COVID-19 cases result in a mild illness, while 98 percent of patients fully recover from the virus.
Findings from @WUSTLmed and @WUDeptMedicine researchers suggest that mild cases of COVID-19 leave those infected with lasting antibody protection and that repeated bouts of illness are likely to be uncommon. @WashUID https://t.co/f5n4U646yN via @wustlmed
— WUSM Department of Medicine (@WUDeptMedicine) May 25, 2021
In the meantime, scientists have yet to determine how long immunity will last with a COVID-19 vaccine. Further studies are being conducted to determine whether vaccination also induces long-lived antibody-producing cells.