PORTLAND, Maine — Linda Chisholm emailed the NEWS CENTER Maine Verify team, asking this question:
"We currently have COVID, and based on symptoms, one of the newer variants. Been hearing that you do not develop any antibodies from having the new variants. We are fully vaccinated and boosted but would like to know if this information on antibodies is correct."
We reached out to the Maine Center for Disease Control to see if there was any truth to this claim.
Jackie Farwell, Maine CDC spokesperson, wrote in an email that people develop antibodies in response to COVID-19 infection, regardless of the variant strain.
She said those antibodies help protect against infection and severe disease from that variant or any other related ones.
Farwell said we cannot know which strain of COVID someone has been infected with based on symptoms alone.
"The XBB strain is distinct enough from the rest of the Omicron variant family that people could get more easily infected with XBB than with other recent variants, even if they've been vaccinated or recently infected," she wrote in an email.
Farwell also said that XBB is the strain that is circulating most in the state at this this time, she wrote.
The latest report from the Maine CDC of sequenced samples shows four reported cases of COVID-19 were the XBB variant in December of 2022.
She said the COVID-19 vaccine and especially the updated booster give strong protection against severe disease and hospitalization, even if it does not prevent all infections.
Yes, you do produce antibodies to the XBB variant of COVID-19 after getting infected.