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Study: Having antibodies does not mean you're immune to COVID-19

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 14:48:13-04

A major warning from scientists around the world: Do not depend on antibodies for permanent immunity from COVID-19.

This comes on the heels of several studies showing that antibodies only last in our bodies for about two to three months.

“That’s normal,” said Dr. Michael Teng, a professor at the University of South Florida's College of Internal Medicine and a researcher.

According to Dr. Teng, our immune system creates antibodies when a virus enters our bodies. Their main purpose is to stop the virus from getting into our cells. Having few or no antibodies isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean you’ll be reinfected with the virus right away.

“Antibodies are supposed to go down after a while,” Dr. Teng said. “You’re not supposed to have high elevated levels of antibodies for weeks on end. It’s not normal.”

Scientists were hoping the antibodies produced from COVID-19 would stick around as long as antibodies produced from other forms of coronavirus, like SARS. Now that studies have shown that they don’t, they say we should rely on treatment, and working to come up with a vaccine.

There are several potential vaccines being tested right now, but don’t expect to get your hands on one any time soon.

“The fastest vaccine that we ever made was the Mumps vaccine and that took four years,” said Dr. Teng.

WFTS' JJ Burton first reported this story.