- Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX has been commonly testing a group of workers for COVID-19 antibodies.
- 4,300 workers signed up for a study trying at attainable hyperlinks between antibodies and immunity.
- “Individuals can have antibodies, but it surely does not imply they will be immune,” stated one of many study’s authors.
- Go to the Enterprise part of Insider for extra tales.
Elon Musk’s house exploration firm SpaceX has been utilizing its workers to run a COVID-19 antibody study, The Wall Avenue Journal reported Saturday.
The outcomes of the study had been made public in a peer-reviewed paper revealed in Nature Communications, which lists Elon Musk as a co-author.
In line with the study, SpaceX despatched an electronic mail spherical to workers asking for volunteers to take part in a common antibody study to study COVID-19. After that electronic mail was despatched, 4,300 SpaceX workers signed up to offer month-to-month blood samples so that they might be examined for antibodies.
In line with the Journal, Musk and SpaceX’s high medical govt Anil Menon labored to convey on varied docs and teachers to design the study.
The revealed study consists of information spanning from April — when the testing began — and June, though common testing continues to be ongoing in response to the Journal.
The study offers extra info within the ongoing efforts to know how COVID-19 works, and whether or not a sure variety of antibodies might present a degree of immunity.
The study’s findings recommend that individuals who had solely gentle COVID-19 signs developed fewer antibodies, which could imply they’re much less prone to have long-term immunity and will due to this fact get reinfected.
Researchers nonetheless engaged on the study advised the Journal they’ve already noticed some situations of reinfection in employees who beforehand had been discovered to have low numbers of antibodies.
“Individuals can have antibodies, but it surely does not imply they will be immune,” Dr. Galit Alter, one of many study’s co-authors and a professor of drugs at Harvard Medical Faculty, advised the Journal. “The excellent news is a lot of the vaccines induce [antibody] ranges approach larger than these ranges,” Dr. Alter added.
Scientists are nonetheless researching whether or not catching COVID-19 offers any type of lasting immunity.
Dr. Alter additionally advised the Journal Elon Musk took a private curiosity within the analysis and had the study’s authors transient himself and SpaceX executives on how vaccines and antibodies work.
SpaceX was capable of repurpose medical services it had already set up earlier than the pandemic, and recruited interns from close by hospitals to assist draw the volunteers’ blood. Out of 4,300 volunteers 120 who examined constructive for COVID-19 had their blood fastidiously examined to see what number of antibodies they’d produced. Out of this 120, 61% reported no signs.
Out of that 120-strong pattern 92% had been male and the median age was 31. The bigger pattern was 84.3% male with a median age of 32 — though the age vary spanned from 18 to 71.
Elon Musk himself stated he’d examined constructive for coronavirus in November final yr, and within the early months of the pandemic the billionaire repeatedly vented his frustration at lockdown measures calling them “fascist.” At one level he defied a shelter-in-place order to open his Tesla manufacturing facility in Alameda County, California, — after which a number of workers examined constructive for coronavirus.