People who had COVID-19 are protected against reinfection with the virus for at least six months, according to a study posted online Friday by researchers at Oxford University in England.
“Being infected with COVID-19 does offer protection against reinfection for most people for at least six months … [and] this is really good news, because we can be confident that, at least in the short term, most people who get COVID-19 won’t get it again,” study co-author David Eyre said in a press release.
“We know from a previous study that antibody levels fall over time, but this latest study shows that there is some immunity in those who have been infected,” said Eyre, a professor in Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health.
For this study, which has not yet been published in a medical journal and has not been peer-reviewed, Eyre and his colleagues performed repeated antibody testing on 12,180 healthcare workers at Oxford University Hospitals between April and November.
By November, 1,246 of the study participants had developed antibodies against the new coronavirus while the remainder had not, according to the researchers.
The analysis found that none with antibodies against the virus tested positive over the course of roughly seven months.
However, 89 of the more than 11,000 hospital staff members who did not have antibodies — proteins produced by the human immune system to fight off infection — contracted the virus during the study period.