What’s Relevant in June: A Focus on Antibodies Against Covid-19
We all have heard that immunity to Covid-19 doesn’t last. Here are two articles explaining why not all hope is lost.
- Facing Three Fundamental Fears About the Coronavirus
- If Antibodies Fall Short of Covid-19 Immunity, Call the T-cells
In the first article, Bo Stapler, MD, argues that Covid-19 could become an endemic just like the prior coronaviruses epidemics and pandemics. “On a repeat encounter with SARS-CoV-2, their immune systems will know what to do. Even if their immunity has waned and some develop symptoms, a re-exposure will generally result in recovery rather then a fatality,” he wrote. “All this means that SARS-CoV-2 won’t always be as deadly as it is now. It is destined to become the fifth endemic coronavirus…”
In addition, Dr. Stapler offers insights into the following questions:
- Since immunity to the novel coronavirus may not last long, doesn’t the virus need to be eradicated in order for the pandemic to end?
- If herd immunity is the only foreseeable way the pandemic will end, don’t we need a vaccine in order for this to happen?
In the second article (updated in July), I outlined the present evidence for the temporariness of antibodies against Covid-19. For example, a Spain population study on over 65,000 people found that 95% did not generate protective antibodies. But this is not to say vaccines would be completely ineffective as they may induce stronger antibody responses than natural infections would.
Also, we often focus on antibodies and forget about T-cell immunity, which could be much more important in generating immunity. As I wrote, “As the report said, T-cells can enhance activities of B-cells and other immune cells while having the ability to kill infected cells themselves. So, if B-cells’ antibodies are not enough, call the T-cells.”
Shin Jie Yong