You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Immunity to coronavirus could only last six months, study finds - casting fresh doubt on ministers' plans to give survivors 'immunity passports'

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 3 days ago Georgia Simcox For Mailonline

Editor's Note: Help fight the COVID-19 crisis by supporting Akshaya Patra provide meals and grocery kits to those most in need at this crucial time. Donate here for the cause (you will be directed to the Akshaya Patra site).

People may only be immune to coronaviruses for six months, raising questions over whether 'immunity passports' could be a route out of lockdown. 

Also watch: How coronavirus COVID-19 attacks the body (Video by USA Today)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam tested 10 men for four coronaviruses regularly over the course of 35 years. 

The four coronaviruses cause the common cold and research said there was 'an alarmingly short duration of protective immunity', The Times reported.   

They said that after 12 months, people were frequently reinfected with the virus and after six months the levels of antibodies substantially reduced.  

a hand holding a blue object: University of Amsterdam researchers said that antibody tests to estimate how many people had been infected would become of limited use © Provided by Daily Mail University of Amsterdam researchers said that antibody tests to estimate how many people had been infected would become of limited use

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced at the Downing Street briefing on Thursday that the Government has signed a contract for 10 million antibody testing kits. 

He stressed the science of how people develop immunity and how long it lasts was still emerging. 

In pics: Coronavirus outbreak around the world



He confirmed that ministers are already looking at a 'system of certification' that would signify people who are safe to go back to work and mix freely with others. 

The University of Amsterdam researchers said that antibody tests to estimate how many people had been infected would become of limited use.  

Matthew Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Health Secretary Matt Hancock said ministers are looking at a 'system of certification' to signify those safe to return to work © Provided by Daily Mail Health Secretary Matt Hancock said ministers are looking at a 'system of certification' to signify those safe to return to work

It comes as Oxford University began recruiting for large-scale trials for their coronavirus vaccine. 

The study suggests people may have to get the jab annually to be immune to the bug.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and did not include women.  

Professor Lia van der Hoek, one of the researchers involved in the study told The Times: 'Herd immunity is an issue, even with vaccination, as it may be that people can get an infection again within six to 12 months. It is, however, uncertain what kind of disease is associated with a reinfection by Sars-CoV-2, that is of course a big uncertainty.'  

a close up of a bottle: It comes as Oxford University began recruiting for large-scale trials for their coronavirus vaccine © Provided by Daily Mail It comes as Oxford University began recruiting for large-scale trials for their coronavirus vaccine

Virologist at Reading University Ian Jones added that other research suggest longer-lasting immunity as some only cause a mild disease which might not trigger great immunity. 

He added that if the protection was partial it would be hard to score.  

Mr Hancock said: 'We're developing this critical science to know the impact of a positive antibody test and to develop the systems of certification to ensure people who have positive antibodies can be given assurances of what they can safely do.'

He added: 'We're not yet in a position to say that those who test positive in these antibody tests are immune from coronavirus.

'But as our understanding of the disease improves, the insight these antibody tests provide will be crucial.'

Follow the government's latest guidance on safeguarding yourself during the coronavirus pandemic, including travel advice within and outside the country. The World Health Organization has also busted some myths surrounding coronavirus. The Ministry of Health's special helpline is available at +91-11-23978046, ncov2019@gmail.com and ncov2019@gov.in.

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon