How long does coronavirus immunity last?

How long does coronavirus immunity last?

The data collected so far suggests that antibodies acquired with a first infection last for months, perhaps even years. But not in a homogeneous way in all patients, unfortunately: this is why we have to go ahead with the vaccination campaign and why it will be very difficult to achieve herd immunity

(Image: Unsplash) The question of the duration of induced immunity from the coronavirus infection or from the administration of the vaccine has, as you can imagine, a central role in understanding how the pandemic will evolve and when we can return to normal, and what kind of normalcy. And it is one of the many questions for which science, at the moment, has no definitive answers, but only hypotheses, indications, suggestions, which are becoming more and more solid as data and evidence from both population tests and analyzes accumulate. vaccination campaigns.

A look at other diseases: influenza and measles

To begin with, it may be useful to look at the experience from other viral diseases that we have been living with for a long time and for which we have already developed, tested and distributed a vaccine. Two good examples, for which the immune response works in a completely different way, are measles and flu. We know that contact with the measles virus (both natural and through the vaccine) triggers a strong immune response in the body, whose duration is very long over time: a study published in 2007 in the New England Journal of Medicine even talks about lifelong immunity, that is, immunity that lasts a lifetime. Most likely this is due to the fact that the measles virus, unlike Sars-CoV-2, has a low degree of mutability, that is, it is more stable and does not tend to produce more dangerous variants over time.

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