(PoliticalLookout.com)- A series of new scientific studies show that people who only experience mild COVID-19 infections, which is a substantial percentage of people who get the virus, will develop immunity. It means that there may be millions of Americans who are already immune to the virus after experiencing only mild symptoms and potentially not even knowing they had the virus.
It’s important to note that none of the studies have been peer-reviewed yet, so as it stands, they could be wrong. They do, however, suggest that antibodies and immune cells (which are known as B and T cells) remain present in the bodies of people who experienced mild symptoms months after they are recovered.
One study, published by Medrxiv, performed a “longitudinal assessment” of people who had recovered from mild infections to determine whether they had developed and sustained immunological memory against the virus. In short, they tested to see if the body would be immune to the virus on a long-term basis.
“We found that recovered individuals developed SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibody and neutralizing plasma, as well as virus-specific memory B and T cells that not only persisted but in some cases increased numerically over three months following symptom onset,” the report claimed.
Marion Pepper, an immunologist who works at the University of Washington, told the New York Times that this is “exactly what you would hope for.” She explained how SARS-CoV-2-specific memory lymphocytes had shown characteristics that indicate “potential antiviral immunity.”
“All the pieces are there to have a totally protective immune system,” she explained.
According to Pepper, scientists will now need to perform additional studies that will look for evidence of people being able to fend off the virus for a second time, long after they have recovered from the virus.
Smita Iyer, another immunologist, this time from the University of California, said that this means there should be “optimism” about herd immunity. That means enough people recover from the virus and become immune that it the virus is not as easily spread amongst a community.
While people are becoming naturally immune, work is still underway for a virus. The biggest COVID-19 vaccine study in the world started at the beginning of August and involves testing existing vaccines on 30,000 Americans. The vaccine, which was developed by the National Institutes of Health along with Moderna Inc, is now in the third phase of development. Once clinical tests have concluded, the vaccine could be on the way to production…providing it works!