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Covid reinfection ‘extremely unlikely’ for at least six months, Oxford study says


Residents bear a free fast antigen nasopharyngeal swab take a look at for Covid-19 at a testing facility arrange in a college sports activities corridor, on November 20, 2020 in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Northern Italy.

PIERRE TEYSSOT | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — People who’ve contracted the coronavirus are “highly unlikely” to contract the illness once more for at least six months, in accordance with a brand new Oxford study.

Researchers say the findings are “exciting” as a result of they signify an necessary step in understanding how Covid-19 immunity may match.

The study, revealed Friday, claims to be the primary large-scale analysis into how a lot safety individuals get towards reinfection after contracting the coronavirus. It was a part of a significant collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust however has not but been peer reviewed.

It comes after a string of encouraging vaccine outcomes over the previous couple of weeks following late-stage trial readouts from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna, in addition to constructive section two outcomes from AstraZeneca-Oxford.

There is rising optimism {that a} Covid vaccine might assist convey an finish to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 1.three million lives worldwide.

Public well being officers and consultants have warned it might take months, possibly much more than a 12 months, to distribute sufficient doses of any potential vaccine to attain so-called herd immunity and suppress the virus.

‘Really excellent news’

Researchers mentioned there was not but sufficient knowledge to make a judgment on safety from the preliminary an infection past a six-month interval. The study will proceed to gather knowledge, with the hope of verifying how lengthy safety from reinfection can final.

“This is an exciting finding, indicating that infection with the virus provides at least short-term protection from re-infection — this news comes in the same month as other encouraging news about COVID vaccines,” mentioned Dr. Katie Jeffery, director of an infection prevention and management for Oxford University Hospitals.

A earlier study of employees at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, revealed on Nov. 5, discovered antibodies to Covid-19 fell by half in lower than 90 days.

That study, which has additionally not but been peer reviewed, mentioned antibody ranges peak decrease and fall sooner in youthful adults.

“We know from a previous study that antibody levels fall over time,” Eyre mentioned, referencing the analysis revealed earlier this month.

“But this latest study shows that there is some immunity in those who have been infected. We will continue to follow this cohort of staff carefully to see how long protection lasts and whether previous infection affects the severity of infection if people do get infected again.”



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