Much has been said about the immunity to the coronavirus that those who are infected with COVID-19 can acquire . Since the pandemic broke out and science began to investigate the behavior of the virus, many theories have emerged about it. But now, new research has revealed that immunity to COVID-19 would last much less than previously thought and that immunity diminishes over time.
The finding was made after researchers from Imperial College London analyzed 350,000 blood samples to detect the level of antibodies and the changes they have over time. Preliminary results have shown that immunity to the coronavirus is lower as time passes and that it would last no more than three months, especially in those who reach 75 years.
The results have been published in REACT, Real Time Assessment of Community Transmission , a massive study that is updated in real time and that examines in detail the evolution of COVID-19 antibodies among the population of the United Kingdom. From June to the end of September, the British population with antibodies went from 6% to 4.4%, an indicator that the period of immunity is declining over time. “Immunity declines at the same rate that antibodies do. This is an indication that immunity is also declining at the population level, “said Wendy Barclay, from Imperial College, who states that this precision is also based on the behavior of other coronaviruses.
Determining the immunity of the coronavirus is not easy due to different factors that indicate the results of this REACT investigation, such as the severity of the disease (which can affect the concentration), age and exposure time. “Seen this way, that immunity lasts for weeks or months depends on the person who is infected,” said the German chain Deutsche Welle, which highlights other conditions to investigate immunity such as the size of the samples analyzed.
The British investigation is not the first to look into immunity to the coronavirus . Harvard Medical School and the University of Toronto recorded high levels of antibodies in samples analyzed between two and four weeks after infection; as well as in Germany and even Harvard. “The question of the durability of immunity to the new coronavirus remains unanswered at the moment,” reports the German media.
Regardless of the duration of immunity, experts recommend that even after a person has recovered from COVID-19, follow health measures as reinfection has already been proven. “If a test detects antibodies , the person should continue to comply with the safety measures, such as wearing a mask, the healthy distance or having a diagnostic test in the presence of symptoms,” recommends Paul Elliot, director of Imperial College London.