I was blessed recently to have contracted the pandemic virus and survived with very mild symptoms – cough and fatigue. My wife and I received monoclonal antibody treatment quickly, and the recovery was complete in about ten days or so.
No, I did not elect to get a vaccine. However, I have been opining for months that September 2021 was my decision date to decide whether I would or would not get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
I knew I would not consider the mRNA vaccine but would seriously consider a viral vector vaccine. My opinion and research tell me that the mRNA vaccine makes sense. I understand the chemical actions inside the body; however, I think the technology is too new to decide without more time (years) of post-vaccine reactions.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01442-9. A study published just over four months ago stated that people recovering from mild symptoms of the COVID-19 viral infection may churn out antibodies for decades. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03647-4. See link for details from Nature Journal – May 24, 2021.
Why those with mild symptoms rather than all symptoms? Scientists speculate that severe cases of coronavirus may disrupt the normal antibody cell formation.
The study tested over six dozen people who recovered from mild symptoms of COVID-19. As reported in several sources, antibodies made right after infection decreased over the next four months and then slowed while still producing antibodies. Nearly a year after infection, researchers were able to detect antibodies from the SARS-CoV-2 protein.
B cells and bone marrow samples were collected from eighteen participants. Seven months after infection, these individuals had memory B cells that recognized the COVID-19 virus. Fifteen of the eighteen bone marrow samples had detectable levels of BMPCs (bone marrow plasma cells).
Antibodies are proteins that recognize foreign molecules and trigger an immune response. At first, plasmablasts (short-lived antibodies) fight the infection. After the infection is under control, the plasmablasts gradually fade away. Then, however, longer-lasting memory B cells go on patrol looking for any reinfections.
In the background, BMPCs in bone marrow standby for future attacks and provide antibodies as needed – for decades in many cases. Do we know if the BMPCs formed from SARS-CoV-2 can do the same – produce antibodies as needed for decades?
No, we do not. No one does. The virus has only been around for less than two years. Naturally acquired immunity may provide protection. Vaccines may provide protection. We do not know.
However, scientists continue to test previous owners of the COVID-19 virus to determine when a vaccine booster might be needed and the natural immunity from surviving the virus.
A More Recent Study
https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/antibodies-last-over-year-after-covid-19-infection-according-study. A study released just over a week ago from the European Journal of Immunology – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/eji.202149535 – discovered antibodies from COVID-19 infection last over one year based on a review of nearly 1,300 subjects.
Over 95% of them had neutralizing antibodies, and two out of three had nucleoprotein IgG antibodies. Those with more severe symptoms and who survived the pandemic virus had higher antibodies levels than those with milder symptoms. This is a peer-reviewed study.
Vaccine Antibody Protection
https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/report-covid-vaccine-antibody-levels-drop-nearly-10-fold-after-about. A Nature Medicine study this week, https://news.trust.org/item/20211001194329-xkwip, reported that the Pfizer mRNA vaccine-induced antibodies declined ten-fold seven months after the second dose. This study is awaiting peer review.
Antibodies protect us against the original virus. Variants of that virus may be stronger or weaker, and our immune system responds accordingly. The Delta variant is the strongest of the major mutations affecting the United States.
The study noted that those infected with the Alpha variant had slightly reduced neutralizing antibodies compared to the Beta variant. However, the Delta variant survivors were producing neutralizing antibodies a year after the initial infection.
Is there anything that can be definitively stated about the levels of protection for vaccines and naturally acquired immunity? Yes, to a degree, the vaccines worked very well in the first few months. I believe it paved the way for the initial success of shutting down the pandemic.
However, the Delta variant is a much stronger virus. The level of protection changes over time for both the vaccinated and the survivors. I survived the Delta variant and probably have a higher naturally acquired immunity based on the intensity of that mutation.
Will I still have active immunity a year from now, two years from now, or five years from now? It is a waiting game. However, I feel that I am in a better position with naturally acquired immunity than those vaccinated based on the results in the last link above.
However, newer studies will surface as we cruise into 2022. I will continue to monitor and report.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com