Expert Says Natural COVID-19 Antibodies Only Last for 3-8 Months

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TOPNEWS.MY.ID, Jakarta – Professor at the Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine Department of the University of Indonesia’s (UI) Medical School, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said natural COVID-19 antibodies acquired after infection could only persist for around three to eight months. 

“Based on the research so far, natural antibodies can last between 3-8 months, although some have found it up to a year,” said Tjandra to Tempo on Wednesday, October 13, suggesting survivors receive vaccines.

Tjandra, who is also the WHO South-East Asia Region director of infectious diseases for the 2018-2020 period, said natural immunity occurs because of T cell lymphocytes—a type of leukocyte or white blood cell—that plays a major role in cellular immunity.

As for the immunity from COVID-19 vaccines, Tjandra said it requires further studies on how long it will last and whether or not a vaccine booster is needed.

A doctor at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic, the United States, Jeff Pothof, said COVID-19 vaccines provide more reliable and durable immunity against the virus. “Natural immunity wanes rapidly after 90 days. In the early stages of the pandemic, health experts thought that immunity would last closer to six months,” said Pothof as quoted from WSAW on Wednesday.

Pothof cited an academic study that people are twice as likely to have reinfection if they rely on natural immunity alone versus the vaccine. Similar to Tjandra’s statement, Pothof suggested people who had COVID-19 get full vaccines so that they acquire high levels of antibodies.

Read: BPOM Assists 15 Studies on Herbal Medicines for COVID-19 Treatment


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