There may be hope against COVID-19. Many recent studies have suggested that people have strong immune responses to the virus. With these responses, people can protect themselves from more infections for a few months. Experts say this defense could be evidence that a COVID-19 vaccine would work.
Immune Responses to COVID-19
If people’s immune systems can protect them against the virus, they wouldn’t have to suffer COVID-19 over and over. Any vaccines against the virus might also work for longer than a few months.
Dr. Ian Lipkin said these studies had realized his earlier hopes. He works at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health as the director of its Center for Infection and Immunity.
Dr. Ian Lipkin is cautiously optimistic about Covid-19 immunity studies. "This is an accumulation of more information that allows people to become more comfortable with the idea that we are going to have immunity that's going to be longer in duration."https://t.co/KysaRYQGbb
— Columbia Epidemiology (@CUEpidemiology) August 19, 2020
As the pandemic began, scientists wondered how long the body could produce antibodies against the virus. Their studies showed antibody numbers decline over time. People also produce antibodies at different rates.
Hopeful Signs Against COVID-19
One study said that the virus triggered T cells in people. These cells also trigger the immune system to attack the virus and kill infected cells.
In another study, experts found that some people’s T cells recognize COVID-19 even if they weren’t exposed. The study involved blood samples from a large population. In some areas of the US, the study got samples from 20% to 50% of the people. However, the research was unable to explain why people’s T cells knew the virus.
Where We Go from Here
While these studies might give us hope, experts still can’t say whether the immune system can protect people from COVID-19. But current findings do show that possible vaccines might defend people in the long-term. Once a safe vaccine comes along, experts say we should all take it.