FACT FINDERS: Does natural immunity stand up to COVID-19 variants?

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you had the original strain of COVID-19, your body built up an immune response.

However, the virus has mutated into something even worse with the delta variant.

People are wondering if their natural immunity is enough to stop a second infection?

Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center said that depends on a number of factors.

Time is one consideration.

Elliott said the more time that’s passed since the body mounted a response, the more the body calms down. When that happens there’s a chance the virus could get past your immune system.

Another factor is if the original symptoms were mild or asymptomatic. That could also make it easier for reinfection.

It also depends on if the person got the vaccine.

Elliott explained how natural immunity differs from vaccine immunity.

”General infection with the coronavirus causes a very appropriate immune response with antibodies etc,” he said. “But those antibodies are sort of spread thin and it doesn’t take much to get through that defensive line versus vaccine-associated antibodies.

“You get monster immunity for the one exact part of the virus which allows it to be pathogenic and that monster immunity is lasting for months to at last count, over a year.”

Elliott urged anyone who has natural immunity to get the vaccine to limit the chances of getting COVID again.

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