A set of new studies have revealed encouraging signs of strong and lasting immunity in people who developed a mild coronavirus infection.
Researchers who have been meticulously monitoring immune responses to COVID-19, discovered that antibodies and immune cells (B cells and T cells) that have the ability to recognize the virus were still present months after the infection subsided.
Although scientists are unable to forecast how long these immune responses will last, the results of the study indicate that the body's defense mechanisms are working properly and that reinfection will either be less likely or inconsequential.
"This is exactly what you would hope for," said Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington who authored one of the new studies. "All the pieces are there to have a totally protective immune response."
Smita Iyer, immunologist at the University of California, said the result of the studies "call for optimism about herd immunity."