COVID-19 Update: Yavapai County reports 229 new cases; more on immunity
COTTONWOOD — On Monday, Yavapai County Community Health Services reported 229 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths over the weekend, according to a news release.
The county has tested 140,905 residents for COVID-19 and there have been 24,832 positive cases and 607 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood reports 25 new patients for COVDI-19, while the Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott reported 47 on Monday. The Prescott VA reported two new patients.
Immunity comes from the immune system's ability to remember an infection. Using this immune memory, the body will know how to fight off an infection if it encounters the pathogen again. Antibodies are proteins that can bind to a virus and prevent infection. People who had no symptoms during the infection are also likely to develop immunity, though they tend to make fewer antibodies than those who felt ill.
So, for some people, natural immunity may be strong and long-lasting. As COVID-19 hasn't been around for a particularly long time, it's difficult to know how long natural immunity generally lasts.
Research shows people who were previously infected with coronavirus might be susceptible to the new strains, while people who were vaccinated were more likely to be protected.
A study with the original COVID-19 virus showed that vaccination after infection produces roughly 100 times more antibodies than infection alone, and 100% of people who were vaccinated after infection had protective antibodies against the delta variant. The COVID-19 vaccines aren't perfect, but they produce strong antibody and T cell responses that offer a safer and more reliable means of protection than natural immunity — especially with new variants on the loose, according to Yale Health:
- How long after getting infected with COVID-19 does it take for antibodies to show up in a test? An antibody test may now show if you have a current infection because it can take one to three weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies.
- Are you immune to COVID-19 after recovering from it? The extent to which antibodies that develop in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are protective is still under study. If these antibodies are protective, it’s not known what antibody levels are needed to protect against reinfection. Therefore, even those who previously had COVID-19 can and should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- If you’ve had COVID-19 and get the vaccine, will the side effects be stronger? People who already have pre-existing immunity from natural infection do tend to have stronger vaccine side effects, specifically after the first dose of the two-dose regimens. That's just the impact of the vaccine and the natural immunity that you have interacting. The combination of natural immunity plus vaccine is probably the highest level of immunity.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Vaccines have been very effective, even against the Delta variant, in protecting against severe infection, hospitalization, and death.
However, the Delta variant has led to a number of breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, and masks provide another layer of protection. The vaccines are safe, effective, and free.
Appointments can be made through yavapaiaz.gov/chs or vaccine.gov. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or what seems to be a bad cold, please get tested for COVID-19. Testing sites: yavapaiaz.gov/Portals/39/COVID-19/TestingSitesinYavapaiCounty.pdf.
Information provided by the Yavapai County Community Health Services.