The Epoch Times posted an article today with the following headline, “Most Recovered COVID-19 Patients Have Broad, Robust Immunity That Likely Provides Some Protection Against Variants: Study.” Then why are people who have recovered from the virus being encouraged to get the vaccine?
The article reports:
Most people who have recovered from COVID-19, even with mild illness, retain a broad and durable immunity to the disease, including some degree of protection against its variants, according to an Emory University study published in the journal, Cell Reports Medicine.
The longitudinal study, the most comprehensive of its kind to date, involved 254 COVID-19 patients, between the ages of 18 to 82 years, who provided blood samples at various points for a period of over eight months beginning in April 2020. About 71 percent of the patients had mild disease, 24 percent experienced moderate illness, and five percent had severe disease.
The researchers found that most of the patients who recovered mounted a strong and wide-ranging immune response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus for up to 250 days.
“We saw that antibody responses, especially IgG antibodies, were not only durable in the vast majority of patients but decayed at a slower rate than previously estimated, which suggests that patients are generating longer-lived plasma cells that can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein,” Rafi Ahmed, director at Emory Vaccine Center and lead author told Emory News Center on July 22.
The article concludes:
The authors also found that COVID-19 recovered patients displayed stable antibody responses to the other human coronaviruses that cause the common cold, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV).
“These data are most consistent with the generation of long-lived plasma cells and refute the current notion that these antibody responses to human coronaviruses are short lived,” the researchers said. “Moreover, the COVID-19 patients mounted increased IgG antibody responses to SARS-CoV-1, a related pathogen that none likely had experienced previous exposure to.”
The researchers will continue to follow the cohort for several years, with the last sample collection of the participants set for February 2023. Doing so allows the researchers to gather more data to “define the progression to long-lived immunity” to the CCP virus after natural infection.
The findings add to the growing body of research that indicates that recovered COVID-19 patients develop long-lasting immunity.
A limitation of the study is that it didn’t include more severe COVID-19 patients and those who are asymptomatic. However, the authors noted that “mild-moderate illness accounts for [more than] 80 percent of COVID-19 cases, highlighting the relevance of our findings over time.”
The authors said that the study’s findings will “also serve as a benchmark for immune memory induced in humans by SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.”
If my having had COVID-19 means that I will be less likely to get a cold this winter, then it was worth it! Seriously, COVID-19 is serious and not to be taken lightly, but anyone who has not yet taken the vaccine needs to weigh very carefully the risk/benefit ratio. Getting COVID-19 was not a pleasant experience, and I am grateful that my case did not include serious complications, but one problem with this virus is that no one can predict how it will impact a particular person. I am in a high-risk group, yet I did not experience severe symptoms. I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet taken the vaccine to do their own research to determine what is best for them as an individual.