The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Twitter poll over the weekend in an attempt to encourage individuals that have recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated for the virus as soon as possible. The response they got was not what they were expecting, however.
“If you’ve already had #COVID19 and recovered, you should still get vaccinated against COVID-19,” the tweet read, with an option for users to vote true or false. By an overwhelming majority, 72.2 percent of the more than 55,000 respondents voted “false,” while 27.8 percent voted “true.”
If you’ve already had #COVID19 and recovered, you should still get vaccinated against COVID-19.
— CDC (@CDCgov) June 25, 2021
The results of the poll ultimately prompted the CDC to issue a follow-up tweet, in which the agency claimed the statement was true. The CDC also encouraged Americans previously infected with the virus to get vaccinated “as soon as you can.”
While the CDC argues any naturally developed immunity could be short-lived and insufficient, recent medical studies have suggested that individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 have lasting protection against the respiratory virus.
Published in the scientific journal Nature, a study conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that not only were previously infected people still pumping out antibodies months after infection, but that such immunity could potentially last up to a lifetime.
“Long-lived bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) are a persistent and essential source of protective antibodies,” the study read. “Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 have a substantially lower risk of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2.”
“Overall, our results indicate that mild infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces robust antigen-specific, long-lived humoral immune memory in humans,” the study concluded.
The senior author of the study, Dr. Ali Ellebedy, an associate professor of pathology and immunology, notes that the natural decrease in antibody levels following an infection can send the wrong message that an individual is left without any form of protection against the virus.
“Last fall, there were reports that antibodies wane quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19,
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