Covid Antibodies Remain Six Months After Infection, Study Shows
Antibody tests will help the government recognize the scale of coronavirus spread as it can detect old cases of infection including the ones that were not diagnosed. (Photo: iStock)

Covid Antibodies Remain Six Months After Infection, Study Shows

The vast majority of people who contract Covid-19 still have antibodies at least six months after infection, a new study involving more than 20,000 people showed.

Some 88% of participants who tested positive for a previous infection retained antibodies for six months, according to the report by UK Biobank, a major biomedical database. The number was 99% at three months.

The results follow other, smaller studies that indicate a level of immunity following a natural infection for at least 6 months. Health officials have said it’s still unclear how long protection through vaccines could last, and the rise of mutated virus strains could mean the shots may need to be updated periodically to maintain their efficacy.

The study ran from the end of May through early December, based on monthly blood samples and data on potential symptoms from Biobank participants, their adult children and grandchildren.

The most common symptom associated with having antibodies to Covid was a loss of sense of taste and smell, which was reported by 43% of participants. About a quarter were completely asymptomatic.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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