COVID-19 Antibodies Are 'Rapidly' Waning

Henrietta Strickland
October 28, 2020

The new research tested 365,104 adults, across three rounds of testing between June and September. Over the study period more than 17,000 subjects tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and 30 percent of those subjects presented with asymptomatic infections.

The results showed the number of people with antibodies fell by 26.5 per cent over the approximate three-month period.

The Union territory of Puducherry reported two Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday after a gap of two days.

Further, 18-24-year-olds lost antibodies at a slower rate than those aged 75+.

Helen Ward, one of the lead authors, said in a statement: "This very large study has shown that the proportion of people with detectable antibodies is falling over time".

"It is also important that everyone knows what this means for them this study will help in our fight against the virus, but testing positive for antibodies does not mean you are immune to COVID-19", said Lord James Bethell.

What do the study findings reveal about a vaccine? Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a population develop an immune response, either through previous infection or vaccination, so that the virus can't spread easily and even those who aren't immune have protection.

The investment, announced Wednesday, is being made through Canada's COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) to the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow's Health (CanPath), so it can conduct a serological study of 20,000 Canadians in long-term care homes and people living in under-served areas of the country with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting-and spreading-COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Paul Elliott, of Imperial's School of Public Health, said: "It remains unclear what level of immunity antibodies provide, or for how long this immunity lasts".

"We suspect that the way the body reacts to infection with this new coronavirus is similar to that", she said.

"We can see the antibodies and we can see them declining and we know antibodies on their own are quite protective", Prof Wendy Barclay told the BBC. "Testing positive for antibodies does not mean you are immune to Covid-19".

"For the coronavirus that doesn't seem to be the case".

The research also raises questions about how long a vaccine would last. "We may achieve it with 50 percent, but the bottom line is we'd run the risk of not getting herd immunity with the vaccine".

Hampshire's team analysed results from 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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