A study on 90 patients, healthcare workers at London hospitals revealed that 60% of the patients had a “potent” antibody response when infected, though only 17% maintained it after three months.
Speculations And Data
Previous speculations of herd immunity as an increasing number of people contact the novel coronavirus appear wrong. Patients who have suffered from the virus might face reinfection, according to a new study by British researchers that discovered people who recover from COVID-19 seemingly lose their immunity within several months.
The speculation might be based on observations from other viral diseases like measles. Overcoming measles grants an individual immunity for life.
However, for RNA-based viruses like the novel coronavirus, three weeks are needed for an adequate antibody build-up. Even in that case, protection might only be available for a limited period.
That means that an individual can be infected by the virus one or more years later, just like it happens with the common cold.
If the study’s data gets confirmed by more sources, then our chances of getting read of the virus solely depend on the development of an effective and safe vaccine.
Dr. Katie Doores, a lead author on the study, stated in an interview with the Guardian:
“People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around.”
“Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing,” she added.
Unfortunately, some individuals might require additional boosting, and a single shot might not be enough.