Yes, You Develop Some Immunity to Covid-19. The Question Is, How Much?
Experts say it would be ‘extremely bizarre’ if people didn’t develop some immunity to Covid-19
Among the many lingering questions surrounding the coronavirus and its long-term impact on the body is the likelihood of developing immunity after recovering from the virus. And if people do develop immunity, how long does it last? An important step toward reopening the country, determining who has immunity against reinfection, and what level of protection immunity confers can help establish the risk of sending large groups of people back to work.
Back in March, Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said in an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah he would be “willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against reinfection.” A few weeks later, the World Health Organization released a statement explaining there existed “no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”
Still, dozens of new serological tests designed to detect the presence of antibodies — that is, to figure out if you were exposed to the virus and your immune system produced antibodies, or proteins that ward off future infection — were rolled out, with varying degrees of accuracy. Studies of people recovered from Covid-19 showing low or no levels of antibodies continue to highlight how little scientists actually know about how long antibodies last and why we don’t all make the same amount.
Despite all the swirling uncertainties and inconsistencies surrounding immunity, scientists do agree that humans develop immunity to Covid-19. Long-term research is necessary to paint a clearer picture of the level of antibodies necessary to confer immunity and the duration of protection.