More time between vaccination and COVID-19 infection boosts immunity, study finds

Lengthening the time between a COVID-19 infection and inoculation improves a person's immunity, according to a study published Jan. 26 in the Journal for Clinical Investigation Insight

Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University studied 96 "generally healthy" employees who have hybrid immunity — vaccination followed by a breakthrough infection or being vaccinated after contracting COVID-19. Those who are better protected align with longer intervals between vaccination and infection.

"Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses undergo continual maturation following primary exposure by either vaccination or infection for at least 400 days after last antigen exposure," the OHSU researchers wrote. 

The study's findings could carry weight in the FDA's future decisions on the COVID-19 vaccine schedule, which so far has been determined by how, when and how much the virus mutates. On Jan. 26, an FDA advisory panel discussed the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccination campaign similar to flu shots, but most disagreed with an annual model because the virus does not mutate on a 12 month schedule. 


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