Healthcare workers praised for taking part in long-term national Covid-19 immunity study
Being infected with Covid-19 appears to offer people protection from further infection for several months, a Public Health England (PHE) study suggests.
The finding comes with an important caveat, however: those with immunity could still carry the virus in their noses and throats, meaning they could potentially pass it on.
In the PHE study, more than 20,000 healthcare workers in 102 trusts in various parts of the UK have been tested for new Covid-19 infections since last June. The tests also check the presence of antibodies (which suggest people have been infected before).
At this stage of its evolution, the Siren (SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection EvaluatioN) study offers no evidence on antibody or other immune responses linked to Covid-19 vaccines. The Siren study will consider vaccine responses later this year, PHE noted.
But those running the study have concluded that immunity acquired naturally as a result of past infections provides an 83 per cent protection rate against reinfection, in comparison to people who have never had the disease.
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