On October 11, President Donald Trump said on Twitter, with insufficient scientific evidence to actually make that claim, that he now has COVID-19 immunity. Trump, who announced he had COVID-19 on October 2 and was then hospitalized with the disease, is now back on the campaign trail, although questions remain as to whether he may still be contagious. And now, in a tweet marked by Twitter as “disseminating misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19,” Trump said he received “full and complete approval from White House doctors” yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune) and can’t give it. Nice to know! “Over the phone on the Fox News Show Sunday morning futures, He also said, “It looks like I̵
It would Actually be nice knowing specific details about how long COVID-19 immunity will last. However, immunity is a constant question mark for public health officials. Even antibody tests that may tell you whether you’ve had the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the past (but not always) don’t reveal much about immunity right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ). “Antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may offer protection against re-infection with the virus,” said the guidelines, which were updated in late June. “But even if this is the case, we don’t know how much protection the antibodies offer or how long that protection can last.”
In August the World Health Organization (WHO) echoed that sentiment when it discussed the idea of ”immunity certificates” or used a positive antibody test as a reason to believe that it is safe enough to return to activities like work and travel because you already are did the infection. “This is based on the as yet unproven assumption that an infection offers long-term protection against re-infection. Antibody-mediated immunity is not yet sufficiently understood to offer guarantees of protection against re-infection, ”the organization wrote. “We don’t yet have enough data to confirm whether antibodies protect, what levels of antibodies are required, or how long the protection lasts.”
so what to do do we know about COVID-19 immunity?
“The evidence suggests people don’t become re-infected in the short term,” Eleanor Murray, Sc.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, previously told SELF after the CDC issued confusing updates that understood by many that COVID-19 immunity lasts less than three months. (The point of the guide, the CDC later said, was not about estimating how long immunity would last, but rather explaining that low levels of the virus can remain in a person’s system for up to three months after infection.)
However, it has become clear that re-infection with COVID-19 does indeed seem possible. “Just because something doesn’t happen on average doesn’t mean it can never happen,” Murray said. The first confirmed case of re-infection was in a 33-year-old Hong Kong man who was infected with two genetically different strains of the virus 142 days apart, the second infection being asymptomatic, according to a report Clinical Infectious Diseases. “We now know reinfection can occur,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia nature. “It remains unclear how often a new event infection occurs or which characteristics of the immune response are associated with a new infection.”