What to know about your child's antibodies after they've had Covid-19

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The study revealed a silver lining for parents...
The study revealed a silver lining for parents...

With recent reports about the Omicron variant spreading like a wildfire across the globe, many parents worry about how the virus will affect their kiddos.

However, a recent study by Columbia University Irving Medical Centre found that children and adults produce different types and amounts of antibodies in response to infection with the Coronavirus.

The study revealed a silver lining for parents, proving that young children who have contracted Covid-19 are safer in the event that they catch it again.

WATCH | Pediatric doctor shares how Covid-19 is impacting children in hospitals

How do antibodies work in children?

When someone is infected with a virus such as Covid-19, their immune system makes antibodies specifically to fight that virus or disease and, therefore, protects the body from it, thereby decreasing the risk for reinfection. 

Research, therefore, found that children are able to clear the virus more efficiently than adults, thereby not needing a strong antibody immune response to get rid of it. 

The results showed that children produce fewer antibodies against the virus's spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells.

READ | Unpacking parents’ reasons for not vaccinating their children: why it matters

Does this mean kids who have had Covid-19 are safe from getting it again?

Dr Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD, a regional clinical director at Carbon Health and family doctor based in Nevada in the United States weighed in on the topic, wanting to emphasise that this information doesn't mean that a child who has contracted the virus is safe from getting it again. 

Dr Curry-Winchell says that "it's hard to know" how long the immunity lasts, especially with the differing variants.

"A lot of times, even now, people don't understand that you could get it again," says Dr Curry-Winchell.

"I encourage kiddos that are eligible – that's all kids 5 years and older – to still take the vaccine even if they had it because that's going to provide that extra layer of protection, but we are seeing that parents are opting out," she said.

"If you have the opportunity to provide your child health for longer, or with less symptoms, that's something to strongly consider. It increases your chance of having milder symptoms. I think if my kid could be sick for two days versus 10 days, that's huge for quality of life, for returning back to school sooner, for all of those factors."

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