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Could coronavirus immunity last for an entire year?

New research suggests coronavirus immunity could last for an entire year, which is slightly longer than other studies found.

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.
This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., in 2020, shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.
National Institutes of Health via Associated Press

A new study suggests that immunity to the novel coronavirus could last for an entire year, if not decades, according to The Seattle Times.

What’s going on?

The study said that most people who recovered from COVID-19 have immune cells to fight off the virus and prevent illness for eight months after the infection.

  • There is a slow rate of decline after that, which suggests that “cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come,” according to The Seattle Times.
  • The study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal. It was published online.
  • Per The Seattle Times, the findings offer some relief to experts who are worried that immunity will be short-lived.

Key quote:

  • “That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years,” said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology who co-led the new study, according to The Seattle Times.

Previous research:

In November, a study found that immunity cells fight off COVID-19 within six months after the first infection, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The study said there was a “robust T-cell responses” in coronavirus patients about six months after infection.

In September, a separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found humans create new antibodies to fight COVID-19 one or two months after infection. The antibodies reportedly last for four months.