Do COVID-19 Antibodies Protect You Forever? Here's What Experts Want You To Know

We are constantly learning new information about the COVID-19 virus as the pandemic progresses. A new study has revealed promising information about people who have contracted the virus. According to US News, the antibodies in people who have already had COVID-19 can last as long as 20 months. While this is positive news, it is important to remember that antibodies do not always protect you from reinfection.

"This study tells us that people have antibodies that hang around after COVID-19, but it doesn't tell us anything about immunity as we don't know what level of natural antibodies is needed for protection," said Dr. Otto Yang, an immunologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, who reviewed the study. "People can and do get reinfected when they have natural COVID-19 antibodies." The number of antibodies in your system decreases over time and scientists are still unsure how many you need to be adequately protected against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself continues to be getting fully vaccinated.

Why you should still get vaccinated after having COVID-19

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two years, you may wonder if you need to get vaccinated. In addition to the study mentioned above, there is plenty of science to suggest that antibodies from a COVID-19 infection are not the most effective way to protect you and your loved ones. According to Mayo Clinic, unvaccinated individuals who have had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely to get infected with COVID-19 again compared to fully vaccinated people.

It is true that vaccinated people can get COVID-19. However, the vaccine provides important protection against the virus and can keep you from getting seriously sick if you do catch it. According to the CDC, the level of antibody protection you get from a COVID-19 infection will vary depending on the severity of your infection and your age. On the flip side, all COVID-19 vaccines offer high levels of protection to recipients. Relying on antibody protection alone is taking a risk because there is no accurate way to determine how well you will be protected if you do catch COVID-19 again.