COVID-19 antibodies create immunity in monkeys, 2 studies find

Two new studies of monkeys offer evidence that having COVID-19 antibodies may offer immunity from reinfection.

In the first study, researchers infected nine monkeys with the new coronavirus. The monkeys developed COVID-19 and had high viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tract as well as pathologic evidence of viral pneumonia. After they recovered, the monkeys were exposed to the virus and did not get ill.

In the second study, researchers studied 35 monkeys, 25 of whom were vaccinated with a prototype of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccinated monkeys developed neutralizing antibodies.

All of the monkeys were exposed to the new coronavirus, and researchers found that the unvaccinated animals had high viral loads in their noses and lungs, while the vaccinated counterparts had a higher degree of protection, The New York Times reports. Eight of the vaccinated monkeys were protected completely.

Both studies were published in the journal Science. Neither has been peer-reviewed, the Times reports.

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