How long can COVID-19 antibodies keep you safe?

Health Watch

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — While the massive push to get Nevadans vaccinated continues, there is a group of people who have some protection from it — even without the shot.

We are talking about people who have already had the virus and their immune system produces an antibody.

A recent study looked at the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination among people who had the virus and those who had not.

The study was conducted on more than 52,000 young and healthy employees at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Barely 5% of those had had the virus.

It is a small sample. Still, there was not a single incidence of reinfection observed in previously infected people, whether they got the vaccine or not.

The trouble is — how long does that protection last?

Dr. Karen Duus, immunologist at Touro University, explains.

“You don’t know ahead of time how you’re going to react,” said Dr. Duus. “You also don’t know how well your immune system is going to process all of that information from the virus and generate a memory response.”

That means you could have antibodies protecting you from reinfection for two months, six months or even a year. It is going vary widely.

Whether you have had the virus or not, medical experts urge you to get vaccinated. Just because you got the virus, does not mean you cannot get reinfected.

So, it is important to get the shot.

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