By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh researchers found young adults have the lowest antibody levels after getting COVID-19.

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The findings from researchers were posted to a preprint website ahead of peer review and suggest people under 30 may be less protected from a second infection.

“I know a lot of people think, ‘I had COVID, so I don’t need to get a shot,’” said John Alcorn, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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“But this study suggests that some patients, particularly young people, don’t have particularly good antibody memory after infection, indicating that immune boosting with vaccination is important for these people.”

Alcorn, the senior author, said it’s not clear why young people had the lowest antibody levels, but while their findings suggest that disease severity could influence a person’s level of protection, it doesn’t explain everything.

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UPMC said Alcorn and his team plan to follow up with the same patients to measure how neutralizing antibodies change over longer periods of time, and also compare antibody levels in those who have or haven’t gotten the shot.