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Do people who recover from COVID-19 gain immunity to the novel coronavirus?

Experts expect that the majority of people who recover from COVID-19 will gain immunity to the novel coronavirus for at least some amount of time. The question is, for how long. Scientists are studying whether children and adults who have only mild symptoms will still generate a strong enough immune response to remain resistant to the virus until a vaccine is available.

To date, career public servant-scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Before the EUA was granted, independent experts serving on the FDA's vaccine advisory committee had voted overwhelming that, for people 16 years old and above, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. Canada and Britain have also cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use. There are limited doses of the vaccine, and it is expected the vaccine will first be made available to those most at risk to COVID-19 - health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities - although this will differ by state. For more information on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, check out this nice FAQ from NPR.

Updated 12 December 2020