Corona immunity: new study gives hope

Those who have recovered from corona are allowed to take a back seat when it comes to vaccination priority in Germany – because they have usually already formed sufficient antibodies against the virus and are thus protected against Sars-COV-2 for at least a period of around six months.

So far, however, researchers have assumed that the immune protection declines again after a period of time, even in those who have recovered. Several studies have shown: In those affected the number of antibodies decreased decreases rapidly after a while.


Despite Corona, almost 50 percent do not develop antibodies

Corona recovery: antibody level is slowly falling

A new investigation goes deeper into the analysis. Accordingly, the antibodies decrease. However, the researchers no longer assume that there is no immune protection.

A team of researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted a study with 77 subjects, all of whom developed corona about a year ago and had a mild course. In the course of the study, blood was drawn from the test subjects first one month after infection, then three more times at an interval of three months. The result: The antibody level fell, but the process slowed down steadily.

Corona antibody test

Diseases & Treatment

First German corona patient no longer has antibodies

Immunity for those who have recovered: “Misinterpretation of the data”

Ali Ellebedy, one of the study’s authors, told the media: “There was a misinterpretation of the data. It is normal for antibody levels to drop after an acute infection, but they don’t go to zero, they stay on a plateau. ”

Man in mask rolls up his sleeve, in the foreground a syringe with vaccine is drawn up

Diseases & Treatment

Corona vaccination: how long am I immune?

COVID convalescents: Immune for life due to cells in the bone marrow?

What also makes the study so interesting: In a total of 18 samples analyzed, almost were found antigen-specific plasma cells in the bone marrow one year after infection. If necessary, they are able to produce new antibodies against the coronavirus. And that for a lifetime. Recovered infection is pretty unlikely in people who have recovered with a mild illness.

Ali Ellebedy assumes that the immune cells can produce antibodies against Sars-COV-2 for a lifetime. That is a “Strong evidence of long lasting immunity“, So the expert. Now the doctor would like to examine how it behaves in those who have recovered with a moderate and severe course.

Nevertheless, those who have recovered with a slight course will probably not be without the “booster vaccination” until the duration of immunity after a corona infection has not been conclusively clarified in those who have recovered.


Ellebedy, A., Turner, J., Kim, W., Kalaidina, E., Goss, C., Rauseo, A., … & Presti, R. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans.

Good news: Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection, in: