Are people who have had the coronavirus now immune to it?
If the answer is “yes”, it raises the tantalising prospect that the current lockdown could be eased without having to wait for a vaccine – which is expected to take over a year. There’s even been talk of so-called “immunity passports”.
But the science on Covid-19 immunity is far from settled. Let’s take a look at what we know – and what we don’t.
There are two categories of coronavirus test. One looks for the presence of the virus right now, the other tells you if have the antibodies needed to fight it off.
If you have those antibodies, then – whether you had symptoms or not – you have been exposed to the coronavirus and your immune system has found a way to defend itself, at least for now.
The UK government announced some weeks ago that it had bought millions of antibody tests, but was still checking whether or not they worked. This week, it emerged that these particular tests are not reliable.
Nevertheless some are still optimistic that once an effective model becomes available, it could form the basis of “immunity passports”, with those found to have the antibody perhaps allowed greater freedom to move around.
Source: 4 News: FactCheck
Original publication 7 April, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 8th April 2020
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