HomeHealthHow long does immunity last after having COVID?

How long does immunity last after having COVID?

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After testing positive for COVID-19, most people then have detectable antibodies. But experts say the protection they get after having the virus is still less than when people get vaccinated.

Here is a breakdown of how this works, especially as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads throughout the nation.

An infection creates an immune response and recognizes the coronavirus. Antibodies are also produced.

A previous infection offers about 80% protection from the coronavirus, while those who received both doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have about 95% protection against the viruses, Dr. John Wherry told WHYY. Wherry is the director of the Institute for Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

So while protection is good for those who already caught COVID-19 in some form or another, it is not as strong as the vaccines.

When your immune system responds to one strain of the virus, it provides at least some protection against similar viruses, according to Dr. Lisa Maragakis, senior director for infection prevention at Johns Hopkins.

Maragakis added, though, that the more different the strains are of the virus, the more likely your immune system may not be able to recognize them and create that immune response.

This is why many health experts have been concerned about COVID-19 variants such as the rapidly-spreading Delta variant.

Ultimately, it’s best to talk to your doctor, who can provide medical advice based on the treatment following a positive COVID-19 test.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that individuals who have been treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma should wait 90 days after treatment before getting a vaccine.

If you were not treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, infectious disease expert Kristen Englund of the Cleveland Clinic says “the time frame that we recommend for being vaccinated after having a COVID-19 infection is as soon as you’re out of quarantine.”

The CDC also said one recent study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.

Related stories about COVID-19:

When will the Moderna vaccine get FDA approval?

When will the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get FDA approval?

What does FDA approval mean for the COVID vaccine?

What is an endemic? Could COVID become an endemic?

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.


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