According to a new study led by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, children previously infected with COVID-19 develop natural circulating antibodies that last for at least seven months.
Volunteers who enrolled in the study provided researchers with three separate blood draws. To date, investigators have completed three different phases of the study.
Researchers have examined data from 218 children across the state of Texas between the ages of 5 and 19 who were enrolled in the Texas CARES survey, which began in October of 2020 with the goal of assessing COVID-19 antibody status over time among a population of adults and children in Texas.
While 96 per cent of those infected with COVID-19 continued to have antibodies up to seven months later, well over half (58 per cent) of the sample were negative for infection-induced antibodies at their third and final measurement. The findings do not include the impact of vaccine protection.
The results of Texas CARES, Messiah said, are just a step in understanding the virus's impact on children. To date, 14 million kids in the US have tested positive for the virus, she said.
"While our study is encouraging in that some amount natural antibodies last at least six months in children, we still don't know the absolute protection threshold. We have a great tool available to give children additional protection by getting their vaccine, so if your child is eligible, take advantage of it," Messiah concluded.