Antibodies aren’t enough to protect you from COVID, doctor says

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:56 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Antibody levels are one piece of the puzzle when it comes to fighting COVID. Antibodies help, but medical experts say they shouldn’t be your only protection against the virus.

Antibodies are proteins created by your immune system that help you fight off infections. They are made after you have been infected or have been vaccinated against an infection. According to the CDC, antibodies can protect you from getting those infections for some period of time afterward. How long this protection lasts is different for each disease and each person.­

In COVID’s case, different variants are circulating. For instance, if you had COVID at some point last year, your body created antibodies against that specific variant. The catch, according to Dr. Jon Klein, from the UofL School of Medicine, is that you don’t have full protection for every COVID variant that is around.

Klein said antibodies are just one part of our protection against COVID. This is where vaccines help, Klein said, especially since we’re dealing with a variety of variants.

”The vaccination antibodies actually protect us against a wide variety of future strains and that is what we’ve seen with this Delta variant,” Klein said. “The vaccines that were developed protect against the original form of the virus, (and) have proven to be really very protective against serious disease and new strains.”

Metro Public Health and Wellness said through COVID infection, you have antibody protection for about eight months. With the vaccine, antibody response lasts at least a year, likely more than two. That can vary depending on a person’s medical condition and variants that may emerge.

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