In the United Kingdom, King’s College London found out that the immunity to COVID-19 is short-lived and is likely to disappear in a few months.
The researchers from King’s College London conducted repeated tests of 96 COVID-19 positively tested healthcare workers and patients for the antibodies. According to the study, antibodies against the coronavirus peaked three weeks after the onset of symptoms but also fell rapidly.
The mild cases of coronavirus, the antibodies to the virus were not detected after three months of recovery. However, those who had severe symptoms had higher and long-lasting antibodies in their immune system. Peer-review and analysis of the study are pending to provide evidence and formal approval.
It was suggested that herd immunity (about 70-80% of the population to become infected with coronavirus) and vaccine both would play a role to combat COVID-19. However, there are doubts about herd immunity because it might not last long, and the potential vaccine might require regular boosters to prolong the antibodies.
The findings pointed out that although the immune system has various ways to combat coronavirus, the seasonal waves of coronavirus are expected, considering the low antibody count. Dr. Katie Doores lecturer from King’s College London and author of the study said,
“Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for antibody response, so if your infection is giving you the antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing.”
She also added that,
“People may need boosting, and one-shot might not be sufficient.”
The World Health Organization had also notified that people who recover from coronavirus are not necessarily immune for a life-time and might get infected again.
The researchers and health care professionals have suggested further research to determine the course of immunity and to have more than enough vaccinations available, considering the inefficacy of herd immunity for coronavirus.
Dr. Stephen Griffin also commented that,
“Vaccines in development will either need to generate stronger and longer-lasting protection compared to natural infection, or they may need to be given regularly.”