COVID-19: ‘Immunity Passport’ Needs Further Study, WHO says

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by Brian Yalung

COVID-19 positive patients are recovering but there are suggestions that they are not entirely free from possibly re-infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that there has yet to be evidence that people who have recovered from the coronavirus are protected from a second infection.

In a release, WHO issued guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next phase of the COVID-19 response. Some agencies have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV2 could serve as a basis for an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow individuals to travel or return to work with the belief they are already safe against potential re-infection. There has yet to be proof that this is true and have the antibodies to keep them protected against possible second infection.

The latest release from WHO pushes back its previous theory that individuals can only catch the COVID-19 once. As most know, this has been used as a basis by some in re-opening society. The statement comes at the heels of reports that Chile had planned to issue immunity cards that could act as passports, allowing individuals to travel for as long as they have documentation that they have recovered from the coronavirus, NPR.org reported.

“Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection,” the WHO said in a statement. “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

The plans of Chile has aroused the interest of other nations such as France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Most are finding ways to approach possibly reopening economies but a proper backing or proof has yet to come out.

The immunity passport suggestion is based on the belief that a person can only contract the virus once. It also undergirds another theory called herd immunity. In a post from the Medical Daily, It was mentioned in that piece that there are still risks involved.

But all these are limited to the belief that an individual will only be affected by the COVID-19 strain once. More studies are needed to back the claim. But one viable proof that the chances of the coronavirus returning has been showing in select parts of the world. That includes South Korea and China where people who have recovered from COVID-19 appear to be suffering relapses.

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