A new research has confirmed that some people may have a significantly higher level of immunity to COVID-19 that could even protect them from future pandemics.
Scientists studied individuals who have recovered from the virus and then later received a mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna. The study show that some people may have hit the genetic jackpot, meaning their bodies can develop very high levels of antibodies that neutralize the virus. The research indicated that they are also capable of fighting off present and future variants of COVID-19.
What they found was that protection against the disease and its variants was higher than immunity conferred by either infection alone or vaccine alone.
Paul Bieniasz, a virologist at the Rockefeller University, explained that both hybrid immunity and superhuman immunity are ways in which our bodies may have extra fighting power against COVID-19 and future pandemic.
“So this is a phenomenon that we and others have uncovered in people who were infected by SARS-CoV-2 early in the pandemic, and then some months later when vaccines became available, they were vaccinated.
“..Their antibodies were not only capable of neutralizing all of the SARS-CoV-2 variants that we have seen thus far, they’re also capable of neutralizing viruses that are very much more diverse, including the original SARS coronavirus, which is really quite different to the current ones, viruses that are currently circulating in bats and pangolins…”Paul Bieniasz
Archana Narayan, an Immunologist with North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates, also noted that “There are some of us that have this super ability to be able to recover from infections, COVID-19 being one of them, a little better than the general population.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Mohanakrishnan stated, there’s no specific clinical test you can take to determine if someone has super human immunity, other than a regular antibody test to assess one’s general immunity, if recommended by a doctor. He suggested that other than that, “the best bet is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“If you’ve been infected, then you can take comfort in knowing that on top of that infection, you can boost your immune response with a vaccine. You can create a level of immune response that’s remarkable.”Dr. Mohanakrishnan
Moreover, Immunologist John Wherry, at the University of Pennsylvania, is a bit more hopeful.
“In our research, we already see some of this antibody evolution happening in people who are just vaccinated, although it probably happens faster in people who have been infected.”John Wherry
However, Bieniasz went on to urge caution, stressing that the research is new and needs more real world testing. He said it did offer hope, though, for the people who had recovered from the disease and been vaccinated. Meanwhile, his team is investigating whether a third booster shot has the same effect.
So far, more than 226 million people around the world have been infected with COVID-19 and some 4.8 million people have died. The World Health Organization has said another influenza pandemic is inevitable – that it is a matter of when, not if.