You might have some immunity to coronavirus, even if you’ve never had it

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There are now hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine studies in the works. But the role that antibodies play in creating immunity to COVID-19, whether they are developed as a result of fighting the virus directly or injected via a vaccine, is still unknown. What we do know is that the human immune system is multifaceted and complex; antibodies are just part of how our bodies fight against disease. One small but hopefull study, though, suggests that some people may have a level of immunity to COVID-19 without ever having contracted it.This raises a lot of questions, but the first thing to note is that this study is tiny, so like most coronavirus developments, we need to be cautiously optimistic about it. Secondly, while in everyday life the word “immunity” implies that you are exempt from something — that you won’t get it— that’s not what it means in medicine. Immunity, in this context, could mean having a less severe reaction to the virus, but that doesn’t mean not getting sick at all. Per this (accelerated peer reviewed, mind you) study’s findings, people may be able to effectively fight the virus using T cells, a facet of the …

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