Covid immunity lasts 13 months after infection, French study finds

The preliminary study found that 97% of subjects maintained antibodies for over one year after testing positive

22 May 2021
A Covid-19 antibodies test

People who catch the Covid-19 virus will retain antibodies for up to 13 months after infection and be 96.7% less likely to be reinfected, according to a new study Pic: Inna Astakhova / Shutterstock

People who catch the Covid-19 virus will retain antibodies for up to 13 months after infection and be 96.7% less likely to be reinfected, a new study supported by Strasbourg University Hospitals has found.

The study, published May 20, followed 1,309 people, of which 393 had already contracted Covid-19, for a period of over one year. Of the 393 people who had already had Covid-19, only one was reinfected. 

This was a 23-year-old female medical student. She first developed Covid-19 with mild symptoms in March 2020, with a high viral load. She caught it again in January 2021 but was asymptomatic and had a low viral load.

The paper states:

“Altogether, our findings indicate that although anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers do indeed decline, the risk of reinfection within a year post-infection remains low.”

The study found that antibodies remained effective long-term against the original strain of the virus, the UK variant and South African Variant. Other variants were not tested as part of the study.

The paper has not yet been peer-reviewed. 

Read more:

Covid herd immunity in France is ‘on track for end of summer’

Covid France: Vaccines work against Indian variant, early study finds

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