COVID-19 antibodies most likely will provide some protection against reinfection, according to Dr. Sarah Fortune, the chair of the immunology and infectious disease department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The World Health Organization on Saturday tweeted that COVID-19 antibodies developed during an infection could provide “some level of protection” against reinfection. The W.H.O. made the statement after deleting an earlier tweet that said there was “no evidence” that antibodies would provide any protection.
In deleting the original tweet, the organization stated a desire to clarify that "most people who are infected with #COVID19 will develop an antibody response that will provide some level of protection," but that "what we don't yet know is the level of protection or how long it will last."
Fortune told Jim Braude on WGBH New’s Greater Boston Monday that she believes there is a good chance COVID-19 antibodies will provide protection against reinfection, but lack of corroborating experimentation prevented the WHO from make stronger claim regarding their efficacy.
“I think that there is lots of evidence that antibodies are going to provide measures of protection," she said. “Whether that’s perfect, and whether that’s true with everybody, it's not clear, but certainly, for most, coronaviruses antibodies are protective, and I think we should expect that there will be a measure of protection of COVID as well."
Fortune is also optimistic that COVID-19 antibodies could also be used to create a vaccine. “ I think that antibodies from both natural infection — most cases — and from vaccinations will be protective,” she said.