The antibodies from COVID-19 provides immunity from the disease for several months, but reinfection is still possible later, according to a new study.
A report by the Public Health England (PHE) Siren suggests that a person who recovers from the infection will be protected against a new infection of COVID-19 for at least five months and the level of protection is 83%.
The researchers found 44 potential COVID-19 reinfections among 6,614 participants who showed evidence of the previous infection and according to previous findings, some people with antibodies can still transmit the disease.
The study provides the “clearest picture to date of the nature of antibody protection”, said Prof. Susan Hopkins from PHE.
“We now know that most of those who have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are protected from reinfection,” she said.
“But this is not total and we do not yet know how long protection lasts. Crucially, we believe people may still be able to pass the virus on.
“This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections but there is still a risk that you could acquire an infection and transmit to others.
“Now more than ever it is vital we all stay at home to protect our health service and save lives.”
The level of protection by various vaccines varies as Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine gives 95%, and Moderna jab provides 94% protection. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has 70% efficacy.