Will a vaccine or recovery from the virus give us long-term immunity to Covid-19? – The Guardian

Last Updated on August 3, 2020 by

This episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s global daily news podcast.

It’s a familiar refrain of the past six months: “When will we get back to normal?” The premise is that once a vaccine arrives or enough people have had Covid-19 we will be immune from its terrible effects. But new evidence on how our bodies combat the virus is casting doubt on the prospects for long-term immunity.

The Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample, tells Anushka Asthana that one study at King’s College London showed that antibodies needed to combat the virus faded quickly in patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19. Results like this could have huge implications for the development of a coronavirus vaccine as well as work being done on therapeutic treatments.

If recovery from Covid-19 or a vaccine do not provide long-term immunity, what does this mean for the prospects of ever getting back to pre-crisis normality?

French engineer-virologist Thomas Mollet looks at 24 well plates adherent cells monolayer infected with a Sars-CoV-2 virus being used to develop a vaccine.

Photograph: Jean-François Monier/AFP/Getty Images

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