BEIJING — As the COVID-19 pandemic still rages around the world, many people are wondering whether people who survive coronavirus have long-lasting immunity or how long the immunity lasts after a COVID-19 infection.
According to a study published in the journal Immunity in mid-October, for people who recover from the coronavirus, the antibodies they have against the virus are maintained in their bodies for at least five to seven months.
“We conclude that neutralizing antibodies are stably produced for at least 5-7 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” a team of researchers led by Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunobiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said in the study.
Nearly 30,000 people in the state of Arizona have been tested by the team since April 30, shortly after they had a COVID-19 blood test.
Meanwhile, the researchers have not checked if any of these people they tested were exposed to the virus again or if the antibodies they developed were enough to protect them from reinfection.
In a different study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in early September, researchers in Iceland studied 1,107 people who had recovered from coronavirus and developed the antiviral antibodies, finding that those antiviral antibodies against COVID-19 had not declined for a four-month period.
Lauren Rodda, a senior postdoctoral fellow in immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, was quoted by Healthline, an American website and provider of health information, as saying that experts are not sure if people are immune to reinfection because there are not enough studies yet.
“This would require tracking the reexposure of a significant number of people and determining if they get sick,” she said.
Similarly, Aubree Gordon, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said that as COVID-19 spread rapidly across the world at the beginning of this year, “there’s just been a limited time for people to study this.”