A study has found that people who have been diagnosed with COVID19 and recovered from it are not likely to catch a second infection at least for six months. Experts have said that the findings of the study are quite encouraging as it is essential to understand how COVID19 immunity might work in the future. This is the first large scale study which shows how much immunity people have against reinfection after being diagnosed with COVID19 once. It is a part of a major alliance between Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. However, this study has not been peer-reviewed yet. The study has been released after a series of positive results of potential vaccines have surfaced in recent weeks. Two major pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna as well have announced positive phase two outcomes of their vaccines last week.
There is a rising optimism among people and health experts that a COVID19 vaccine might put an end to the COVID19 pandemic, which has killed over 1.3 million people around the world. However, public health officials think that it can take months or a year to allocate sufficient doses of any potential vaccine to attain herd immunity and contain the virus. The new study has observed around 12180 healthcare workers over 30 weeks. All the participants have been tested positive for antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which leads to COVID19 disease. They have been diagnosed with the disease during the regular testing for COVID19. All of them have been sick and showing symptoms before the diagnosis. The findings of the study have shown that nearly 86 out of 11052 people, who do not have antibodies, have been diagnosed with a second infection with symptoms. At the same time, no one out of 1256 volunteers with antibodies has been diagnosed with symptomatic infection. People with antibodies have been at a lower risk of being infected with the virus without symptoms as well.
Scientists from Oxford University have said that it is good that at least for a short time, people with antibodies, who have been diagnosed with the disease once, will not get a second infection. On the other hand, people who have not tested positive for antibodies have been at a higher risk of contracting the virus again. However, experts have said that there is no enough data to validate that the protection from the first infection will last longer than six months. Experts are probing that how long this protection against reinfection will last.