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Studies find evidence of ‘Superhuman’ immunity to COVID-19

Nov 10, 2021, 9:49 AM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:35 pm
SHORELINE, WA - NOVEMBER 03: A firefighter prepares pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19...
SHORELINE, WA - NOVEMBER 03: A firefighter prepares pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine on November 3, 2021 in Shoreline, Washington. UW Medicine held a Covid-19 vaccination clinic for children ages 5-11 as it begins to use the 5,700 pediatric doses it received the day before. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

In an article released by NPR, some scientists are reporting “superhuman immunity” present in defending against COVID-19. This is also known as “hybrid immunity.”

The article explains that scientists have discovered that certain individuals are able to produce an extremely powerful immune response against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. These individuals produce very high levels of antibodies that are also highly flexible. 

Paul Bieniasz, a virologist at Rockefeller University, stated that “One could reasonably predict that these people will be quite well protected against most — and perhaps all of — the SARS-CoV-2 variants that we are likely to see in the foreseeable future.”

Illness + vaccine = superhuman immunity?

The article also explained that “these antibodies were even able to deactivate a virus engineered, on purpose, to be highly resistant to neutralization.” 

According to NPR, individuals who experience this hybrid immune response to COVID-19 meet certain criteria. They survived infection with the coronavirus in 2020, then received immunization with mRNA vaccines this year. 

Another virologist, Theodora Hatziioannou from Rockefeller University, explained that “after natural infections, the antibodies seem to evolve and become not only more potent but also broader. They become more resistant to mutations within the [virus].”

These findings impact our understanding of immunity against COVID-19 and point toward a hopeful future that the immune system will likely eventually have an edge over this virus. 

This story is developing and will be updated with information from the interview. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Studies find evidence of ‘Superhuman’ immunity to COVID-19