Since their arrival, questions have arisen about how long the coronavirus vaccines will protect us and whether annual COVID-19 boosters will be needed.
NBC 7 spoke with a local doctor who walked us through this recently published research.
Two studies indicate that our memory B cells, cells in your body that store memory for the virus, can create antibodies to fight infection.
“This is very encouraging and only time will tell if this is true, but at least from a scientific point of view it seems correct,” said local otolaryngologist Dr Paul Schalch Lepe.
Dr Lepe said studies would suggest that many people who have received a vaccine after recovering from COVID-19 may be immune to the disease for life.
“It should remind people that even if you had COVID, you should continue with the vaccination and finally have this permanent immunity, so that you will never be affected by COVID-19 again,” said Dr Schalch Lepe.
The studies were published in the journal “Nature” and “BioRxiv” on Monday. The researchers found in the BioRxiv study that these B memory cells were present in the bone marrow of 15 of the 19 people tested.
“If you find these permanent changes and traits in the bone marrow, you know with some degree of certainty that the system has been recycled,” said Dr Schalch Lepe.
Vaccines do not have the same endurance in everyone.
Dr Lepe said vaccinated people who have not contracted the disease will likely need more doses in the future.
Studies also suggest that people vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19 are better protected against emerging variants.