AND FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE
A new study shows that COVID-19 infections do not give people long-term immunity. Antibodies that the infected developed usually began to decrease within a few weeks after the onset of symptoms.
According to the study, 23 days after the symptoms first appeared, 60 percent of patients experienced a potent antibody response. At 65 days, however, only 16.7 percent still had antibodies.
If a vaccine is developed, it will most likely need to be administered frequently to provide protection. Herd immunity is likely impossible.
Dr. Mala Maini, a virus expert from University College London, told CNN that the study “suggests vaccines will need to be better at inducing high levels of longer-lasting antibodies than the natural infection or that doses may need to be repeated to maintain immunity.”
The researchers noted that the antibody response to COVID-19 was similar to that of other types of human coronaviruses, such as seasonal ones linked to the common cold and SARS. In these viruses, a person’s antibody response tends to fade for a period of time that can be as little as 12 weeks or as long as 34 months.
Antibodies fade fast. We must learn to live with that fact. Society cannot wait for a vaccine. Life must go on. The shutdowns must end.