Does COVID-19 result in lasting immunity? Growing evidence says yes

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A team of researchers from California and New York have found that people infected with the coronavirus may develop lasting immunity, an encouraging discovery for vaccine developers jolted by previous studies indicating human antibodies die out over time.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal, found that enough immune cells remain in the body to fight off COVID-19 up to eight months after the initial infection. Scientists say there are signs these virus-fighting capabilities will last for a long time.

The findings, by the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, provide a major boost to biotechnology companies Moderna and Pfizer, whose promising vaccines have been shadowed by questions about how long coronavirus antibodies stay in the body.

“Indeed, it confirms the study by our group as well as from others (that the human immune response) can be long-lived,” said Nadia Roan, an associate professor at UCSF who has also been studying human immune cells, but was not involved in this most recent study on immunity.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines — which have taken the …

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