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Assignment of immunity certificates has to be viewed carefully

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Assignment of immunity certificates has to be viewed carefully

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The immunologist Akiko Iwasaki says that "having antibodies" against the coronavirus "does not mean" that "one will be protected from reinfection" or that "one will not get infected".

Japanese immunologist Akiko Iwasaki said on Monday that the granting of immunity certificates to people with antibodies against the new coronavirus "must be considered carefully", as these people may not be fully immune.

Iwasaki, who participated in a videoconference promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on health, economic and political responses to covid-19, said that the granting of a “passport for immunity” to this respiratory disease, defended by Germany, “must be considered with caution".

"Having antibodies", by themselves, against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus "does not mean" that "one will be protected from reinfection" or that "one will not be infected", he maintained.

According to the researcher at the Yale School of Medicine, in the United States, people with antibodies "can potentially transmit the virus", so "it is too early" to think that they are protected and will not transmit the infection.

Corroborating Iwasaki's caution, the director of the Pasteur Institute, Stewart Cole, defended that "more time" is needed to know which "specific antibodies" will bind to the coronavirus and provide protection for the organism against covid-19. In this sense, the microbiologist stressed that "it is too early" to say which type of vaccine, which induces the production of antibodies, will be more efficient to prevent the disease.

Antibodies are glycoproteins produced and expelled by plasma cells – cells that exist in blood serum – to respond to a foreign substance, such as a virus or bacteria.

Germany intends to issue immunity certificates to people to prevent restrictive measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, such as social isolation, strangling the country's economy and allowing people to gradually return to their normal lives, namely work.

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