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Vanderbilt studying COVID-19 immunity

How long are we immune to COVID-19? Vanderbilt researchers are studying just that.
(AP)
Published: Nov. 14, 2020 at 4:09 PM EST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — How long are we immune to COVID-19? Vanderbilt researchers are studying just that.

Nashville affiliate WTVF’s Chris Davis spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner about the possibility of getting COVID-19 more than once.

“Chris -- we don’t know the answers to all of those yet. It will take some time, but I will tell you, a lot of people are trying to find out,” said Dr. Schaffner.

One of the people looking into the data is Dr. Natasha Halasa, Professor of Pediatric Infections at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Because it’s new, we don’t know the long term of how long someone has immunity for -- we don’t know what kind of immune response they have,” said Dr. Halasa.

Davis reported that Halasa is leading a Vanderbilt study tracking more than 700 patients of all ages that either had COVID-19, have it now or may have it in the future. “When it’s safe, our team actually goes to their homes,” she said.

Halasa’s team periodically draws blood samples from the test subjects and hope to be able to answer questions, such as why children fare better against the virus and how long does immunity last.

“This can be helpful also to understand if you’re going to make a vaccine -- is the vaccine going to be a short term protection or a long term protection,” explained Dr. Halasa.

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