Coronavirus is a completely new infection in people. Nobody had immunity to the virus at the start of the pandemic, but immunity is the key to getting life back to normal.
And understanding what immunity to the virus looks like and how long it lasts is crucial for understanding what happens next.
How do you become immune to coronavirus?
Our immune system is the body’s defence against infection and it comes in two parts.
The first is always ready to go and leaps into action as soon as any foreign invader is detected in the body. It is known as the innate immune response and includes the release of chemicals that cause inflammation and white blood cells that can destroy infected cells.
But this system is not specific to coronavirus. It will not learn and it will not give you immunity to the coronavirus.
Instead, you need the adaptive immune response. This includes cells that produce targeted antibodies that can stick to the virus in order to stop it and T cells that can attack just the cells infected with the virus, called the cellular response.