There is a lot of confusion about the immune response to COVID-19, in particular: whether or not the presence of antibodies means you are immune to it. For example, if someone has had the flu before, their body will have produced an antibody as part of its natural defense mechanism. When they encounter the flu virus again, their body will attack it with these same antibodies. For some diseases (e.g., measles), having antibodies means that you are immune to that disease again.
- Antibodies Are Not The Same As Immunity:
Some people get confused about the difference between antibodies and immunity. You hear all the time that the flu shot “provides you immunity for the flu.” That is not true.
-A flu shot is an injection of antibodies to protect you from the flu. In fact, it only provides partial immunity.
-When you are exposed to a pathogen for the first time, there will usually be a lot of autoimmunities. The immune response will recognize a pathogen, specifically, the pathogen’s protein.
-This protein will make the body’s immune system go into attack mode.
The immune system recognizes these molecules as foreign and attacks the molecules, making these molecules non-immunogenic. Some antibodies will attack the foreign molecule and destroy it, while other antibodies will attack the molecule, and the immune system recognizes it as foreign again. This process continues until the immune response is defeated.
But there is a problem. What if someone doesn’t have flu antibodies but was initially immunized with a flu vaccine? Perhaps the person has the flu right now, but in the past, they have not gotten the flu.
In this case, does the person still have the flu? Well, they are not immunized. The immune response to the flu has likely not been defeated because the patient will have been exposed to a pathogen at some point. This person has been “exposed” to the pathogen, therefore, they are considered to have an immunity to it now due to the prior exposure.
- Do Antibodies Confer Lifelong Immunity?
Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system that bind to a specific pathogen and mark it for destruction by other parts of the immune system.
Vaccines work by introducing a weakened or killed pathogen into the body to get the immune system to make antibodies against it. However, antibodies do not confer lifelong immunity.
One side effect of this new Covid vaccine, which seems to be starting to reach most populations, is that there now appears to be lower than normal percentages of people who are getting vaccines. In fact, many states report that fewer people are being vaccinated because of the public confusion over whether immunity lasts for a certain period of time.
Further, because the production of vaccines in various countries is uneven, there may be United States outbreaks of widespread infection that are medically referred to as vaccine outbreaks but that may actually have been caused by other illnesses that are not being controlled under the new, expanded vaccine distribution guidelines. So, even if you did get the vaccine, it’s possible that you’ll need additional shots.
Vaccine preventative measures don’t always work, and there are times, such as if you are hospitalized, when it may not be the vaccine that caused the infection; it may just be the fact that you were in a compromised state as a result of the illness and the medication you were taking. Regardless, there’s no doubt that there’s been a huge benefit to the immune response to vaccines.
- Are You Protected Against All Strains Of COVID-19 Through Antibodies?
Antibodies do not provide protection against all strains of a pathogen. In fact, the human body can only produce antibodies that are specific to one strain of a pathogen. So, if the pathogen mutates, your body can’t produce antibodies that recognize the new strain.
There is also not much official guidance on the use of “antibodies” in identifying someone who is immune, although there may be a resemblance between the symptoms of someone who has been exposed and the questions you might be asking yourself.
- Antibodies Are Not Preventive, Just Reductants Of Symptoms:
The reality is, you may not even be fully immune to COVID-19.
Why this is relevant is that COVID-19 can cause severe complications among people who had Covid-19 but are not immune. This means that, after the injury occurs, the body is now trying to deal with chronic inflammation rather than the immediate infection. The recommended treatment for COVID-19 is empirically based and relies heavily on local inflammation as the primary therapeutic modality. People who have severe underlying conditions (e.g., diabetes, metabolic syndrome) may require a stricter treatment plan that includes medications to decrease inflammation and improve function.
As a general rule, if you are experiencing symptoms similar to what you would experience if you contracted Covid-19 and your physician recommends that you be treated, you will likely be able to complete these components of this therapy. If your physician recommends other treatments, including medications to reduce inflammation or increase stamina, you may need to find a new physician. The primary way that you can ensure that you are receiving the right treatment depends on your particular case.
One of the most important things to understand about the immune system is that being exposed to a pathogen does not mean that you are immune to that pathogen. For example, if you get the flu, you can get the flu again next year, even if you haven’t had the flu since you were a child. Although most people know that your body is constantly rejecting invaders, I believe there is still some confusion around when exactly the immune system makes an inflammatory response to a pathogen.
If we look at a pathogen, then we can tell that it is either a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Certain triggers within the inflammatory response can cause the immune system to overreact. This overreaction creates the collection of scar tissue within the nerve causing loss of feeling, feeling well, and even memory. Autoimmune conditions are characterized by the body’s own immune system attacking itself.
For another example, our immune system can attack and/or kill our own body cells. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune cells within our body can become overactive and start attacking and killing our own cells. In some ways, autoimmune diseases are more similar to autoimmune disorders than they are to ways that the immune system normally attacks and kills invading pathogens. All of these autoimmune diseases are characterized by a bad environment within the body that causes our immune system to attack itself.
Eventually, your & your family & loved ones’ safety is in your hands. Get vaccinated soon and stay safe!