South Africans built up immunity with each COVID-19 wave: SANBS

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Data collated by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has revealed that with each new variant of COVID-19 detected in the country there appears to be better immunity against the virus.

The study on blood from donors who have COVID-19 antibodies found that the number of those with immunity increased from 47 percent during the wave of the Beta variant, to 71 percent during the Delta wave.

SANBS principal investigator Marion Vermeulen explains what the data suggests about the fight against COVID-19: “If the extrapolation is correct, 71% of the population has already been exposed and has detectable levels of antibodies and those antibodies will provide them with some protection. So we know that there is still the possibility for reinfection.”

“We saw that with Omicron there were a number of people that got reinfected but those antibodies still seem to provide some protection with regard to severe illness. These antibodies are only people who have been exposed, this does not even include people who have been vaccinated,” added Vermeulen.

Study shows immunity built up by South Africans during each COVID-19 wave: