And likely no vaccine either.
Courtesy of Healthline:
Since SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in December 2019, the novel strain of coronavirus has caused nearly 14 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
A growing body of research suggests that when someone contracts SARS-CoV-2, their immune system’s production of antibodies against the virus tends to quickly peak — and then rapidly decline.
These findings have contributed to concerns about the possible risk of reinfection in people who’ve already recovered from COVID-19.
“More and more studies actually show that individuals, especially with mild disease, tend to lose these antibodies over time,” Kamran Kadkhoda, PhD, medical director of the immunopathology lab at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, told Healthline.
“Whether that means they’re at risk of reinfection? That remains a possibility,” he said.
In a new study reported in a preprint paper on the website MedRxiv, researchers found that levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 peaked within about 3 weeks of people developing symptoms.
Within those first 3 weeks, 60 percent of participants in the study developed “potent” neutralizing antibody responses against the virus.
By the time 65 days had passed, only 17 percent of participants still had potent levels of neutralizing antibodies in their blood.
People who developed only mild to moderate symptoms tended to produce fewer neutralizing antibodies than people with severe cases of COVID-19.
Neutralizing antibody levels also tended to drop to lower levels in people who developed only mild to moderate infections. In some of them, no neutralizing antibodies could be detected by the end of the study.
If antibodies do not last long, and mild infections produce only limited antibodies then it is very unlikely that a working vaccine can be produced.
And this also means that any immunity that might be developed by getting the virus will only last a short time before you are once again capable of reinfection.
If all of this is true then our new normal, of mask-wearing and social distancing, is going to last years, not just months.