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New study suggests COVID-19 antibodies might protect from reinfection for at least 6 months

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Posted at 4:41 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 16:41:21-05

A recent study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that antibodies might protect people who've already had COVID-19 from being reinfected for at least six months.

Researchers looked at 12,541 healthcare workers at Oxford University Hospitals in the United Kingdom and were followed for up to 31 weeks.

In the study, researchers investigated the incidences of COVID-19 infection by conducting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on the healthcare workers who had tested positive and negative, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

The study results showed that 11,364 did not have antibody levels, and 1,265 had positive results, which also included 88 healthcare workers in whom seroconversion occurred during follow-up. A total of 223 anti-spike–negative health care workers had a positive PCR test (1.09 per 10,000 days at risk), up to 100 during screening were found to be asymptomatic, and 123 were to have symptoms, the study found.

Researchers said that individuals who had anti-spike antibodies had no symptomatic infections.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering