Two new studies suggest immunity to the novel coronavirus could last years, especially for those who have been infected with the virus and been vaccinated.

Does COVID immunity last longer than we think?

The New York Times reports that two new studies suggest people who recovered from COVID-19 and later got the COVID-19 vaccine won’t need any booster shots, too.

  • Vaccinated people who never got the coronavirus may need booster shots to improve immunity.
  • The studies reviewed patients who had been infected with COVID-19 more than one year ago.

One of the studiespublished in the journal Nature — suggested that cells can “retain a memory of the virus persist in the bone marrow and may churn out antibodies whenever needed,” according to The New York Times.

The second study — posted online at BioRxiv — found that the memory cells can “continue to mature and strengthen for at least 12 months after the initial infection,” The New York Times reports.

How long does COVID immunity last?

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For the most part, immunity to COVID-19 remains a mystery. Recent research has found that natural immunity from COVID-19 antibodies can last around six months. Still, experts suggest people get the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to stay safe, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “You can certainly not rely on a past infection as protecting you from being ill again, and possibly quite ill if you are in the elderly segment,” Steen Ethelberg, an epidemiologist at Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, told The New York Times.
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