(CNN) — After people are infected with the novel coronavirus, their natural immunity to the virus could decline sooner rather than later, new research suggests. Antibodies are the proteins the body makes to fight infection.
The CDC says their presence may tell you whether you’ve been infected with coronavirus in the past. New research suggests antibody responses may start to decline within a month from the time COVID-19 symptoms first emerge, says William Haseltine — president of access health international.
“Now there are two studies. one from Spain and one from the UK that actually measures the virus in people and the antibodies and watched the immunity decline. that’s what we’re afraid of, Haseltine said.
In one of the studies released on a medical server and not yet been peer-reviewed, the researchers say those who have a severe form of COVID-19 may have longer-lasting antibodies than those with mild cases but it’s still only a matter of months before those antibodies wane. They say the study has important implications when considering protection against re-infection and the durability of vaccines.
Other experts including CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, point out we don’t know for sure whether people can get re-infected with coronavirus.
“If it were true that the antibodies and protection were only lasting 20 to 30 days, I think we’d start to see some significant amounts of re-infection. we haven’t,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta said.
The study suggests 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.