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COVID Immunity May Last 8 Months

Tracy Davenport Tracy Davenport
8th January 2021
COVID Immunity May Last 8 Months
Immunity can even last up to several years for some (Getty Images).

The Claim

COVID-19 immunity lasts up to 8 months.

Emerging story

According to social media, a study has revealed that COVID-19 immunity lasts up to eight months after the infection. 

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar has discovered that – for some – COVID-19 immunity likely lasts for years according to MIT’s Technology Review. In a new study, it appears that immune cells primed to fight the coronavirus should persist for a long time after someone is vaccinated or recovers from infection. 

The new paper studied blood samples from 185 men and women who had recovered from COVID-19—most from a mild infection, although 7% were hospitalized. Each person provided at least one blood sample between six days and eight months after their initial symptoms, and 43 of the samples were taken after six months. The team that ran the investigation measured the levels of several immunological agents that work together to prevent reinfection: antibodies, B cells, and T cells. 

The researchers found that antibodies in the body declined moderately after eight months, but T-cell numbers declined only modestly, and B-cell numbers held steady and sometimes inexplicably grew. This means that the components that can restart antibody production and coordinate an attack against the coronavirus stick around for a while. 

The findings of this latest study differ from a CDC study that found after 60 days post infection, 94 percent of the participants had a decline in antibody levels between baseline and follow-up, and 28 percent had a decline of antibody to levels below the threshold for positivity (meaning they were no longer immune). However, as was learned by the latest study, sometimes antibodies continue to increase, which was unable to be determined in the CDC study by only measuring antibodies 60 days post infection. 

These latest results are an encouraging sign that the immunity to the virus probably lasts for many years for some, and it should alleviate fears that the COVID-19 vaccine would require repeated booster shots to protect against the disease.

However, some people get COVID-19 twice, meaning that immunity likely wanes faster for some than others.

As such, we rate this claim as selective.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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