Coronavirus antibody: How many people have antibodies? How many are immune to covid?

Coronavirus antibody: How many people have antibodies? How many are immune to covid?

Today (Monday, September 21) a press conference was held by Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. In light of the increasing number of coronavirus cases recorded in recent weeks, Sir Patrick warned Britain could be facing 50,000 new covid cases a day by mid-October. He warned this could lead to 200 deaths a day a month later if the current rate of infection is not stopped.

On Monday the UK reported 4,368 daily cases, an increase from 3,899.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre has now recommended the COVID-19 alert level for the UK be increased to Level 4, meaning transmission of the virus is “high or rising exponentially”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting of COBRA on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson is also expected to issue an update on further coronavirus restrictions, to help curb the growing number of infections.

READ MORE: London lockdown: Sadiq Khan outlines his new COVID restrictions

How many people have antibodies to COVID-19?

At Monday’s conference Sir Patrick said only a small proportion of the population are believed to have antibodies for COVID-19.

Sir Patrick said: “What we see is that something under eight percent of the population have been infected as we measure the antibodies.

“So eight percent, about three million or so people, may have been infected and have antibodies.

“It means the vast majority of us are not protected in any way and are susceptible to this disease.”

But the NHS website states antibody tests cannot tell you if you are immune from the virus, only whether you have likely had coronavirus before.

But an antibody test may not work for everyone, as some people who’ve had the virus do not have antibodies.

A positive antibody test doesn’t mean social distancing guidelines should not be followed.

As well as reporting on COVID-19 cases in the UK, an update was issued on vaccine development at Monday’s conference.

A few coronavirus vaccine trials are now at either Phase II or Phase III, including the ongoing trial at the University of Oxford.

Sir Patrick said a number of candidates in vaccine trials have shown they can generate an immune response that ought to be protective against the virus.

He added: “We don’t yet know they will work but there is increasing evidence that is pointing in the right direction and it is possible that some vaccine could be available before the end of the year in small amounts for certain groups.

“Much more likely that we’ll see vaccines becoming available over the first half of next year, again not certain but pointed in the right direction, which then of course gives the possibility of a different approach to this virus.”

Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 18:39:41 +0000