Had COVID-19 and a vaccine? You could be immune for years, new studies say

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Two new studies show that immunity for COVID-19 could last for years for people who have had the disease and a vaccine.

The studies, in the journal Nature and BioRxiv, show antibodies can be stored in bone marrow, potentially for years. The studies also show the antibodies are strongest in people who had the disease and received a vaccine.

“Their immunity may look a little different than somebody who had an actual infection,” said Dr. David Wyles, chief of infectious diseases at Denver Health. “They’re just getting exposed to the spike protein that’s in the vaccine. Not all the components the virus is making.”

This means people who have had the virus and vaccine may not need a booster shot, doctors said. But those with just the vaccine may need one. Scientists are now trying to find out when.

The two studies tracked people for 11 months. But Wyles believes the immunity could last for much longer, based on other similar viruses.

“The best data we have is analogies back to SARS and MERS, where they’ve seen immunity lasting in some studies out for 3 years,” Wyles said.

The studies also showed the immunity — from both the vaccines and the virus itself — do a good job protecting against the current variants.

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