36% of people who had COVID-19 didn’t develop antibodies, study says

Antibodies can provide immunity to future exposures

When it comes to COVID-19, there has been a lot of discussion about antibodies.

There’s a lot of medical debates and studies underway as to how long the antibodies may last in your immune system.

A new study published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Emerging Infectious Diseases, suggests 36% of those who had COVID did not develop antibodies in their blood.

Researchers associated with the study checked the blood samples of 72 people who tested positive for COVID. Only 46 of the 72 people ended up having detectable antibodies.

“It’s a bit surprising, there’s other research that has similar results so it’s not unheard of, but it’s just more evidence that COVID can infect people more than once, we think, and that it’s necessary to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Thomas Giordano, a professor of medicine and section chief of infectious diseases at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Giordano was not a part of the study but said antibodies are one of the body’s first lines of defense against any foreign substance whether it’s a virus or bacteria. But it’s unclear how long antibodies last or how many you have.

According to Giordano, it typically varies from person to person.

“It’s not the largest study, it’s not conclusive, but it does add to the body of evidence that the protection that you might get from having COVID in the past is probably not 100%,” said Giordano.

New variants like Delta or Mu also complicate how much protection you may have from antibodies.

“Your protection against Delta is probably less than it would be against the original strain cause your body only saw the original strain,” Giordano said.

He believes the only way to really protect yourself is to get vaccinated, which has proven, according to him, to protect against hospitalizations and deaths even if there’s a breakthrough infection.

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