Researchers Throw Cold Water on the Panic Around COVID-19’s Alleged Short-Lived Immunity
There was a study put out by King's College in London a few weeks ago, which found that covid nineteen antibodies in people who had been infected largely disappeared after two months. The headlines about covid nineteen immunity being temporary were all over the place with more than a few implying that this means will never have a truly effective vaccine and never truly defeat the coronavirus. It's all terrifying so I wanted to share some insight from Derek. Thompson over at the Atlantic spoke with a number of experts to get a deeper understanding of the study and inject some good news into all of the headline fearmongering. Now I'm not going to tell you that. The study was totally wrong and that we're all going to be completely fine nothing about covid nineteen is completely good news, but as Shane Crotty of urologist at the La Hoya Institute for -Nology told the Atlantic actually looking at the data. I feel okay about it. Quoting further from the Atlantic acquired immunity is. Memory when our bodies fight off infection, we want our immune systems to remember how to defeat it again like a person who, after solving a big jigsaw puzzle recognizes and remembers how to set the pieces the next time. The whole point of vaccination is to teach the immune system those same puzzle solving lessons without exposing it to the full virus. This is why Casey L. study initially seemed so dreadful it. It found that the number of certain active antibodies called neutralizing antibodies declined significantly between tests especially in patients with mild or no symptoms. Antibody levels are one proxy for the Immune System's memory. If they plunged quickly, that might mean that our immune system can't remember how to solve covid nineteen for more than a few months at a time do minus to start from square one with each new exposure end quotes. Now while those findings from the King's college study are definitely concerning, there are three main reasons to be skeptical about the study and therefore hopeful for futures. I, the study only looked at one part of our immune system, our vast mysterious immune system about which there remain many unknowns quoting again when a new pathogen enters, the body are adaptive immune system calls up a team of BCL's with produce antibodies and t cells to over simplify the B. Cells antibodies intercept and bind to invading molecules and the killer t cells seek and destroy infected cells, Evaluating Immune Response Without A. T cells is like inventory, national air force, but leaving out the bomber jets, and in the case of covid nineteen, those bomber jets could make the biggest difference. A growing collection of evidence suggests that t cells provide the strongest and longest lasting immunity cove in nineteen, but this study didn't measure them at all end quote, further study and a Francis Strasbourg university hospital found that patients recovering from covid nineteen had strong t cell responses, despite not having any detectable antibodies. Now second decline in antibodies that unusual Shane Crotty the Varela gist from the Loy. Institute for Immunology. said quote it unusual to have feeding antibody response after several months the off. Isn't that surprising when you look at something like the smallpox vaccine easy the antibody responses down about seventy five percent after six months, but that's a vaccine that works for decades. We need a study like this to look at Cova patients six months after infection to really know what we're dealing with and quote. And third, and finally it's possible that even these low levels of antibodies could trigger a larger immune response in the future like if the individual is exposed to SARS Cov to again, this goes back to the immunological memory. It's like the memories and that strong when it's not confronted, but win the trigger of the virus returns, so does the memory. Even beyond the critiques of this one study that caused so much panic in the news, there remain many other reasons to be hopeful. Vaccine Research continues to steamroll along at an unprecedented pace. Several studies on monkeys have shown strong long lasting immune response and a new study shows that patients who recovered from SARS East Asia indeed have long lasting t cell immunity. Plus Journalists Noah. Smith shared on twitter, pointing to research from immunologist professor. Akiko, it was sake. This news about antibodies doesn't necessarily mean the vaccine would be ineffective because quoting Sake, vaccines can elicit stronger immune response than natural. Those covid nineteen vaccines can and should induce more robust and durable protection than natural infection end quote. As no Smith sums it all up quote. One antimony bunnies aren't the only thing that can give you. Immunity to your body can probably remember how to make new antibodies and three vaccines can potentially give you longer lasting immunity than you'd get from actually getting covid end quote.