June 7, 2021

Two studies suggest COVID-19 immunity may last years

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Two studies suggest that immunity to COVID-19 persists for at least a year and perhaps a lifetime, the May 26 New York Times reports.

Researchers focused on memory B cells, which retain a memory of the COVID-19 virus. They found that even though the patients’ antibody levels fell after they recovered from COVID-19, their memory B cells stayed in the bone marrow, ready to produce antibodies as needed.

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In addition, the studies found that memory B cells produced in response to COVID-19 infection are enhanced with vaccination and are able to thwart variants of the virus, negating the need for boosters. That result may not apply to protection from vaccines alone.

The findings from these studies may help assuage fears that protection against COVID-19 will be short-lived, the New York Times says.


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