This question is now answered with second small ‘waves’ of COVID-19 infections in many countries as social distancing restrictions are lifted, notably Germany and South Korea. Reproduction rates are > 1, indicating the number of infections is growing again. The size of second waves in various areas will be dependent on many factors, but a worrying lack of ‘herd immunity’ means that most people are still susceptible to the infection. More than 99% of patients post COVID-19 have antibodies against SARS-CoV2, so they should be spared from a second wave. However, there are still questions regarding the quality of this immunity and for how long it lasts, although significant cases of re-infection are very rare. The pathway to long-term global control COVID-19 is difficult, even if second waves are avoided in some countries. Thus, the intense efforts to make vaccines against SARS-CoV2 which would eradicate COVID-19 by artificially generating herd immunity.
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