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Coronavirus immunity might linger for years, a new study indicates

A small number of individuals in the study lacked long-lasting immunity post-recuperation.

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Person working at coronavirus drive-thru testing site in Washington DC in April 2020
Person working at coronavirus drive-thru testing site in Washington DC in April 2020
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Updated: November 17, 2020 - 4:55pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A new study has indicated that immunity to the coronavirus could potentially last for years.

The New York Times reports that the new data indicates that eight months past an infection most individuals who recuperated still possess sufficient immune cells to protect against the sickness. The research is not peer reviewed, the outlet noted.

“That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years,” virologist Shane Crotty said, according to the outlet.

The Times noted that a small number of individuals in the study lacked long-lasting immunity post-recuperation, which could be related to the quantity of coronavirus exposure.

It is hard to predict the duration of the immunity since scientists do not know the supply of various immune cells required to defend against the illness, the outlet said, noting that studies have suggested small amounts of antibodies or T and B cells could be sufficient to protect people who have recuperated.

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