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Oklahoma Scientists Studying COVID-19 Antibody Lifespan

COVID-19's novelty has meant all hands on deck.

In Oklahoma, some of the top research facilities have joined a national consortium of academic, medical and business leaders. The coalition aims to use its expertise to advise government officials.

Dr. Judith James, the vice president of clinical affairs at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, spoke to business leaders on Monday about how OMRF and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have joined the effort.

"One of the things we're working on is how long these antibodies last and if they're actually protective," James said.

That includes a look at how immune systems respond to coronavirus. When our bodies fight viral infections, we can build up antibodies that protect us from getting the disease again.

"Almost everyone who has been infected will make these antibodies, but we don’t know how long they last," James said. "And it looks like they may, unfortunately, go away quickly in some individuals, and we need to understand that."

In other words, these antibodies might not keep the disease at bay forever.

Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
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