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Recovered Covid-19 patients likely protected for 6 months: Study

Study shows recovered Covid-19 patients have protection against reinfection

LONDON: Almost everyone previously infected with Covid-19 have high levels of antibodies for at least six months that are likely to protect them from reinfection with the disease, results of a major British study showed yesterday.

Scientists said the study, which measured levels of previous Covid-19 infection in populations across Britain, as well as how long antibodies persisted in those infected, should provide some reassurance that swift cases of reinfection will be rare.

"The vast majority of people retain detectable antibodies for at least six months after infection with the coronavirus," said professor and chief scientist Naomi Allen at the UK Biobank, where the study was carried out.

Among participants who had tested positive for previous Covid-19 infections, 99 per cent retained antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 for three months, the results showed. After the full six months of follow-up in the study, 88 per cent still had them.

PROTECTED

"Although we cannot be certain how this relates to immunity, the results suggest that people may be protected against subsequent infection for at least six months following natural infection," Prof Allen said.

She said the findings were consistent with results of other studies in Britain and Iceland which found that antibodies to the coronavirus tended to persist for several months in those who have had the disease and recovered.

Meanwhile, Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid-19, according to results published on Tuesday.

New analysis of data from 20,000 phase three trial participants, published in the medical journal The Lancet, suggests that the two-dose vaccination offers more than 90 per cent efficacy.

"The development of the Sputnik V vaccine has been criticised for unseemly haste, corner cutting, and an absence of transparency," said a joint independent commentary by University of Reading's Ian Jones and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Polly Roy.

"But the outcome reported here is clear and the scientific principle of vaccination is demonstrated, which means another vaccine can now join the fight to reduce the incidence of Covid-19." - REUTERS, AFP

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