People infected with the coronavirus are not immune to reinfection even if they have a stronger immune system. Having said that, some studies have shown that natural immunity can work but achieving hybrid immunity through vaccination could be better, according to BioSpace.
Researchers published in the journal Science found that people have shown a potent immune response to the virus with hybrid immunity.
When a person has an effective immune response, their bodies generate enough long-lasting memory B and T cells to combat the presence of the virus until its spike wanes, per the news outlet.
For people who have already had the COVID-19 infection, memory B and T cell responses seem to persist for at least eight months. And hypothetically, these responses could go on for much longer after vaccination.
The research, however, has expressed concern over the lack of total understanding of how a vaccine can affect immunological memory in the longer term, according to BioSpace.
However, the benefits seem to outweigh the risk given the urgency of combating the pandemic, which is why the FDA and CDC have authorized booster doses, recommending people who have recovered from the disease to still get vaccinated.
In a separate study published in September, researchers from the Rockefeller University found that achieving hybrid immunity via mRNA-based vaccines can produce antibodies against several variants of the coronavirus, helping immunized people to be in a better position to fight the virus.
Virologist Theodora Hatziioannou told NPR, “Those people have amazing responses to the vaccine. I think they are in the best position to fight the virus.”
“The antibodies in these people’s blood can even neutralize SARS-CoV-1, the first coronavirus, which emerged 20 years ago. That virus is very, very different from SARS-CoV-2,” added Hatziioannou, who helped with some of the studies.
It is still unclear whether hybrid immunity is the best way to go. However, several studies suggest it could be a groundbreaking discovery in near future.
Meanwhile, medical professionals have been urging people to get vaccinated and follow safety protocols to protect themselves and the people around them. The article was published in BioSpace.