MPR News with Angela Davis

What is COVID immunity, and how do you know if you have it?

A child receives a COVID-19 vaccine.
Tayjah Davis, 12, receives a COVID-19 shot during a youth vaccination clinic in Minneapolis on Nov. 19, 2021. Researchers are still tracking the long-term protection against COVID-19 after a third booster.
Tim Evans for MPR News 2021

Last year, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers caused a stir by saying, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized,” when asked about being vaccinated against COVID-19 during a summer press conference. He then tested positive for the virus later in the fall. 

So, what does immunity mean in the context of COVID-19? How does immunity develop after we get an infection and how does it compare to immunity following vaccination? Why do variants pose a challenge and will we all need fourth boosters soon?

MPR host Angela Davis talks with two doctors about what immunity is, how it works and what shape we’ll be in as individuals and a community after the omicron surge.


  • Dr. Greg Poland is the founder and director of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group and the editor-in-chief of the medical journal “Vaccine.”

  • Dr. Marc Jenkins is director of the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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