Experts also warn against deliberately infecting as a way to achieve hybrid immunity. Dr Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center, said: “I’m really worried that people will intentionally get infected so they can get this ‘new normal’. . The virus is unpredictable, and even young people can get very sick. “There could be something wrong, and they could end up in the hospital,” she said. In addition, it is impossible to know who may develop Covid long after an infection.
To what extent does hybrid immunity protect you?
Dr Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the immune-boosting power of a natural infection could be the same as getting a fourth dose of a vaccine. Hybrid immunity can also occur if you were infected before the vaccine or booster shot.
Here’s why. The first time you get vaccinated or get a virus, it takes a little while for your immune system to respond. But your immune system has a long memory. It reacts faster and boosts more antibodies the next time it detects a virus. The effect seems to be even more pronounced in vaccinated and infected people.
A recent study showed that immunized healthcare workers with a sudden infection had significantly higher levels of antibodies than the immunized control group without spontaneous infection. Fikadu Tafesse, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University who helped conduct the study, said that although the study was conducted before the Omicron wave, the findings suggest a level of protection. significantly increased after a breakthrough infection.
“Superimmune might be an overkill approach, but we know of the most recent studies showing that there is hybrid immunity, which is actually caused by immune cells called memory B cells. ,” said Anita Gupta, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University. School of Medicine. “When some of the short-lived immune cells go away, these memory B cells stay around for a while.”
But here’s the bad news: Exactly how much additional protection you get and how long it lasts will vary from person to person, says Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University. And a person who is immunocompromised or more or at higher risk of severe illness makes fewer antibodies than a young, healthy person, and their antibody levels may also drop more quickly.
It is also unclear whether disease severity affects the degree of hybrid protection. A person with severe symptoms may have been exposed to a larger amount of the virus, says Dr. Iwasaki, which would trigger more antibodies and thus be more protected. A person without symptoms may not have a strong immune response to the virus and may be more susceptible to reinfection.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/19/well/live/breakthrough-covid-immunity.html How does getting a breakout vivid case affect my immunity?