INDIANAPOLIS — Data from the Indiana Department of Health shows that more than 25 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases occurred in the past month and half. With so many people infected in this recent wave, there have been some questions about how long your natural immunity will protect you.
“Early research demonstrated that a lot of it will depend on the variant you were infected with,” said Tom Duszynski with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. “Prior to Omicron we knew that immunity from infection was comparable to a single dose of the vaccine.”
When you’re infected with COVID-19, your body develops antibodies that help fight off the disease in the future. However, Duszynski says the Omicron variant changed everything. “We do know that Omicron evaded immunity from previous infections,” Duszynski said.
The state has reported more than 55,000 re-infections so far. With this latest wave — the question of how long your immunity will last if you were infected with Omicron is yet to be answered.
“We haven’t gone through enough time to test people three or six months down the road to see what their levels of antibodies are,” Duszynski said. Duszynski says experts will have to wait until the next variant comes about. If it’s anything like omicron then your natural immunity likely won’t be as good.
However, if you’ve had a recent COVID-19 infection and have all your shots, Duszynski says you’re likely well protected. “You should have some high levels of antibodies right now which would protect you hopefully against some other variant or every infection down the road,” Duszynski said.
Regardless of a person’s vaccination status, data has shown people retain some protection roughly 90 days after recovering. Duszynski encourages everyone to get their vaccine even if they’ve had the virus because it can help boost your immune system.
“We know the research is showing that you will get some boosted immunity out of that,” Duszynski said. “We certainly expected to be that annual vaccine before going to need like the flu shot to protect us against this.”