Oxford Study: COVID-19 Reinfection Unlikely for at Least 6 Months

James Marshall
November 22, 2020

Globally, scientists have been studying the immunity response among people infected with covid-19. Most infections do lead to mild disease, especially in middle-aged and younger people.

Previously it was feared antibodies wane after just a couple of months but a number of recent studies have shown both T-cells and antibodies last for at least six months, meaning those who have recovered from an infection are protected for at least that amount of time.

They indicated that having the virus once "provides at least short-term protection" from getting it again, she said.

David Eyre, a professor at Oxford who co-led the study said his team will continue to follow the same cohort of staff to see how long protection lasts and whether previous infection affects the severity of infection if people do get infected again. This also means that repeated vaccinations will not be necessary and that the human body will produce enough immune cells to protect it from the deadly virus.

Scientists had feared that those who developed only mild infections would be unlikely to have a strong immune response, but nearly all developed cells capable of creating new antibodies if they encountered the virus again.

Of those that did have coronavirus-specific antibodies, none developed a symptomatic infection during the study period.

As record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 infections continue to surge across the US, scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital say they've found a possible COVID-19 treatment, and suggest that the "process driving life-threatening inflammation, lung damage and organ failure in patients with COVID-19, sepsis and other inflammatory disorders" could possibly be treated using existing drugs.

But none of the three became unwell.

The staff tested were followed for up to 30 weeks.

Instead people need the adaptive immune response. He said all three were OK and did not develop code-19 symptoms.

The paper concluded this immunity was likely to be there "because of previous infection with coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2", for example the common cold virus.

Other studies show that some people may be more infectious and deemed a superspreader because they have weak immune systems that allow viruses to replicate more quickly, thus leading to frequent symptoms like coughing and sneezing, McClatchy News reported in June.

Scientists looked at immune cells in survivors of Covid-19, including those that store "memory" of the virus which can activate antibodies.

The study, conducted at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology, in California, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in Manhattan, analyzed the immunology response by collecting blood samples of 185 individuals who all contracted COVID-19 and recovered.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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