Older adults previously infected with COVID-19 generate greater immune response, new study shows

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Studies show COVID-19 antibodies decline as early as six months after getting the full dose of the vaccine. But what role does a prior infection play when it comes to immunity?

The native coronavirus was responsible for infecting hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. But when the virus began to mutate, scientists turned their attention to developing strains. 

However, scientists at the University of Montreal have a message: There are lessons to be learned from the past. 

In a new study published in “Nature,” researchers at the university assessed 32 patients who tested positive for the native coronavirus at 4 weeks and 16 weeks after diagnosis. Participants were between the ages 18 to 70 years old and all cases were considered mild.

While everyone who was infected produced antibodies, those over the age of 50 produced more than adults under 50 years old.

In addition, the antibodies produced after infection by the original virus were shown to be protective against the mutations that followed, including the beta, gamma and delta. The main point, researchers say, is there is much more to be learned from these strains and how they may elicit immunity against the virus. 

They also say getting vaccinated adds a layer of protection after infection.