Coronavirus immunity may only last a few months; the study suggests

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LONDON: Immunity to Covid-19 in recovered patients may only last a few months, a new study conducted by King’s College London has suggested. According to the research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, immunity antibodies decrease significantly in the three months following infection, leaving patients susceptible to reinfection year after year – similar to the common cold.

In what is believed to be the first longitudinal study of its kind, researchers looked into the immune response of 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust.

While the analysis revealed a “potent” level of antibodies could be found in 60% of participants while at the peak of their battle with coronavirus, sequential blood tests showed only 17% sustained that same level of potency three months later.

Antibodies decreased 23-fold in some cases, and were depleted entirely in others.

The report states that its findings have “important implications when considering widespread (antibody) testing, (antibody) protection against re-infection with (Covid 19) and the durability of vaccine protection.”

It added: “Further studies using sequential samples from these individuals is required to fully determine the longevity of the (antibody) response and studies determining the (antibodies’) threshold for protection from re-infection are needed.”

Face coverings should not be mandatory in shops, says Cabinet minister

Face coverings should not be made mandatory in shops, a senior Cabinet minister has said, but they should be worn out of courtesy and consideration for others.

Michael Gove said that while the policy on mouth and nose coverings in public places was kept under review, he thought it was best to trust the public’s “common sense”.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that they may become compulsory in shops, saying he wanted to be “stricter” on insisting people wear them.