While being infected with the virus may be terrible news for some, it appears that scientists have uncovered a silver lining in that it could give you a “bulletproof” Covid immunity. Researchers have discovered how some people develop “superhuman” immunity to the new coronavirus. The unique coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to NPR, triggers an “extraordinarily potent immunological response” in some people. The exciting news comes at the time when there are concerns about a fall infection spike, as Tuesday witnessed a 13 percent increase in a week, and mortality doubled to 209 people.
More than 37,000 cases were recorded on Tuesday, a day after the UK hit 7 million cases reported. More than eighty-eight percent (88.8%) of the population in the United Kingdom has received one or both doses of the Covid vaccine. As long as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, this form of immunity will provide much-needed positive news.
What exactly is this superhuman immunity?
Researchers at Rockefeller University in the United States have discovered an effective way to boost the immune system of someone who has been infected with COVID and then fully vaccinated against it. Superhuman immunity or hybrid immunity are the terms used by researchers to describe this phenomenon. An unreviewed version of this study has been published on the BioRxiv preprint server. Researchers have found that certain persons who contract Covid-19 and are vaccinated have an exceptionally robust immunity to Covid-19.
All six coronavirus varieties, as well as additional coronaviruses, can be repelled by the antibodies developed by these people, according to an unpublished study pre-print issued last month. Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist at Rockefeller University, said that those with such a high level of immunity are “in the strongest position to resist the virus”. They can also neutralize SARS-CoV-1, the father of corona that arose two decades ago and is extremely different from SARS-CoV-2. That being said, because it was limited to 14 patients, it’s still unclear whether everyone who has been double-injected and tested positive for Covid will have such “superhuman immunity”. However, Prof Hatziioannou added that “we witnessed the same phenomenon” with everyone who actively participated.
Antibodies were so effective that they even managed to kill a virus that had been created in such a way as to be highly resistant to neutralization. There were 20 changes in this virus that prevented SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from attaching to the virus and causing it to be inactivated. Vaccinated or previously infected people’s antibodies were ineffective against this mutant virus. However, those with “hybrid immunity” may be able to neutralize it using antibodies. SARS-CoV-2-exposed individuals may benefit from mRNA vaccinations, she believes. Researchers are working to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine that would protect against all future versions.
How long is this immunity going to last?
When you recover from a virus, your body produces its natural antibodies. These antibodies provide immunity to the virus for a specific amount of time. For the COVID-19 virus, it’s the same scenario as before. As a result of this fatal virus, you will be protected for six months to a year. Nevertheless, don’t go out looking for the coronavirus just yet. There’s no excuse for people to intentionally contract COVID-19 after they’ve been vaccinated, as the virus can still cause them to be hospitalized. In addition, no matter how strong your immunity is, you might still transfer the infection, which isn’t good for anyone. According to the researchers, immunizations lessen the risk of having COVID-19, but they do not eliminate it.
Does the third vaccine dosage confer “superhuman” protection on someone who hasn’t been infected with the coronavirus?
That’s a question Hatziioannou says she can’t answer at the moment. If a person receives three shots, their antibodies are likely to evolve even more, possibly gaining some width [or flexibility], but whether they will ever reach the level of breadth seen after a natural infection remains to be seen.” This is where immunologist John Wherry is a bit more optimistic. Some of this antibody development is already occurring in people who have just been vaccinated, he says, but it presumably occurs faster in persons who have already been imperiled by the disease. Immunologist Wherry speculates that a third injection of the vaccination would give those antibodies a significant boost and accelerate their expansion. People will be better prepared to fight off whatever viral variants are released in the future.