- A Covid 19 antibody study on the pandemic in Iceland published in the New England Journal of Medicine offers some evidence to dispel such fears.
- The researchers have looked at serum samples from 30,576 individuals, using six different types of antibody testing.
- The paper’s central findings are that, out of 1,797 tested people who’d recovered from Covid, 91.1% produced detectable levels of antibodies.
- It is also too early so say whether these antibody findings will hold over a longer time period.
Iceland has a very good news about coronavirus immunity, reports Ferdinando Giugliano for Bloomberg.
Some 91% of Icelanders who recovered from Covid produced detectable antibodies. That should dispel some of the gloom around reinfections.
Study on Covid 19 antibodies
The paper’s central findings are that, out of 1,797 tested people who’d recovered from Covid, 91.1% produced detectable levels of antibodies.
Moreover, these levels hadn’t declined four months after the diagnosis.
The immune response was higher among older individuals — who are at greater risk of developing a more dangerous form of the coronavirus — and among those who presented the worst symptoms.
But the broader immune response is potentially good news for the efficacy of any vaccine and appears to confirm that reinfections, at least shortly after the first illness, may indeed be rare.
Antibodies and herd immunity
While it’s also theoretically good news for herd immunity, that doesn’t mean we’re anywhere near achieving that happy state.
It is thought that about 70% of a population would need to have antibodies to effectively stop the spread of the virus.
The study estimates that less than 1% of the Icelandic population came in contact with SARS-CoV-2.
Too early to predict on antibodies
It is also too early so say whether these antibody findings will hold over a longer time period.
It’s possible that immunity will fade as time goes by, leaving us more exposed to the virus. But, for now, there’s no reason to fear the worst.
The development of vaccines is happening at breakneck speed, and available evidence shows the human body is indeed developing some form of protection.
In a year of overwhelmingly grim news, this is very welcome.
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