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How long do COVID-19 antibodies protect you?

Does a COVID-19 infection protect you from the delta variant?

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19.
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab.
NIAID-RML via Associated Press

A new study from the University of Padua and Imperial College London has found that antibody levels from COVID-19 infection may last as long as nine months.

How long do COVID-19 antibodies last?

The new study found that 98.8% of people infected with coronavirus in February and March 2020 had detectable levels of antibodies in November, according to Imperial College London.

The study — which was published in Nature Communicationssaid “there was no difference between people who had suffered symptoms of COVID-19 and those that had been symptom-free.”

  • To find this, researchers tested more than 85% of 3,000 residents in Italy, who had been infected in February and March 2020. The researchers tested those people again in May 2020 and November 2020.

However, the researchers said the antibody levels were different depending on how the patients were tested, showing some people might not have the same level of antibodies as others.

Previous research on COVID-19 antibodies

There has been some previous research about antibodies from COVID-19. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said back in January that people who recovered from the coronavirus may have less than 90 days of immunity, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

All of this is to say there’s still research being done on COVID and antibodies, without a clear answer to how long they last.