Studies indicate COVID-19 immunity stays from 5 months to a year


New Delhi: Different scientific studies are under the consideration of the health ministry that say that COVID-19 immunity or antibodies last for 5 months to upto an year, according to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday.

“However, our suggestion is that even if a person has recovered from COVID19 then also social distancing, wearing face masks and hand sanitising are key preventive measures to be followed,” said Bhushan.

Echoing similar views, (Prof) Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR said: “Coronavirus is a new disease. It is only 7-8 months old disease, so we do not know how long the immunity will persist. There are several studies being done across the world and looking at how long the antibodies persist. One point to remember is that for the respiratory viruses, whether it is influenza or flu–if you look at it historically, the flu vaccination is given every year. Similarly, the influenza vaccination is given every year because the immunity does not last for upto a year.

So that is the point about the immunity. For this (COVID virus) we are looking at it and several studies are ongoing not only in India but across the world.”

It may be noted that COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Medical experts say that the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

As per the health ministry, around one out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

So far, India has reported over 38 lakh Covid19 cases while 67,376 people have died due to the infection. In the last 24 hours, the country has witnessed the biggest jump of 83,883 new coronavirus cases with 1,043 deaths.