A new study has found that children who experienced COVID-19 infection had significantly higher levels of antibodies against the coronavirus compared to adults, according to Science Daily.

Considering the findings, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that children tend to have strong antibody responses after COVID-19 infection.

The researchers said understanding antibody responses to the virus at different ages could help in developing COVID-19 vaccine strategies and policies.

The study, published online Tuesday in the journal JCI Insight, analyzed samples taken at enrollment from 682 children and adults in 175 Maryland households from November 2020 to March 2021.

The researchers found evidence of COVID-19 antibodies, indicating prior infection with the virus, in 56 people at the time of enrollment. Of these 56 people, 15 were children between ages 0 and 4 years.

Lead author Dr. Ruth Karron said, “This study demonstrates that even children in the first few years of life have the capacity to develop strong antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which in some cases exceed adult responses.”

Dr. Karron and her team set up their prospective household surveillance study to understand more about COVID-19 infection in children who are under 5, a relatively understudied population.

The investigators found that the majority of households with COVID-positive children 0-4 years old had the highest levels of anti-RBD and neutralizing antibodies.

“Very young children in our study developed high titers of antibody to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is the target antigen for COVID vaccines,” Dr. Karron explained. “These findings should provide some reassurance that with the appropriate vaccine doses we can effectively immunize very young children against SARS-CoV-2.”

Some studies have looked at antibody responses to COVID-19 in both children and adults. One study of hospitalized patients found that adults had higher neutralizing antibody responses than children. On the other hand, several community-based studies found that children had robust responses.

Children aged between 5 and 17 are currently eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Studies of the vaccine in children under 5 are ongoing. The CDC funded the study, which is titled “Binding and Neutralizing Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2 in Very Young Children Exceed Those in Adults.”