Let’s all give a round of applause for…coronavirus antibodies! These sparkling immunoglobulins can now be found in more than one in five Dutch blood donors. Hoera! 🎉
Over 21% of the blood donors have these little warriors running around their bloodstream, samples from Sanquin blood bank show. That number jumps to 26% in the south of the Netherlands, which was hit hard in the first wave.
While antibodies are better than nothing when it comes to neutralizing the virus, they don’t offer infallible protection. “Unfortunately, you cannot generally say that someone with antibodies is also guaranteed to be immune,” says Sanquin’s medical microbiologist Hans Zaaijer.
Regardless, if you want some of these babies in your blood, you only have two options: vaccination (which we all know isn’t going so well in the Netherlands), or infection — not recommended.
(It’s worth mentioning that over 50% of the United Kingdom now has antibodies but, of course, we’re not keeping track or anything.)
Up with the antibodies
These numbers have been jumping up in recent months. In January, only 13% of donors in the Netherlands had antibodies. In February, this rose to 18.6%.
A spokesperson says that the numbers are “strongly indicative,” but not necessarily representative of the Dutch population because minors cannot donate blood in the Netherlands.
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Feature Image: CDC/Unsplash