Elon Musk’s rocket and spacecraft manufacturer, SpaceX, has created a program to track the prevalence of coronavirus among 4,000 US company employees.
According to The Wall Street Journal, more than four thousand SpaceX employees participated in a study commissioned by Elon Musk to track the spread of the coronavirus in the company.
Musk partnered with researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop the antibody testing program, which required SpaceX volunteer employees to undergo monthly blood tests.
Of the approximately 4,000 employees tested by the company, 300 they had already taken covid-19 and the researchers had enough data on 120 of those people to analyze subsequent levels of antibodies and draw conclusions for the study. Participants were, on average, 31 years old and 92% of them were male.
The findings shed new light on how the severity of symptoms of covid-19 affects the amount of antibodies each person has and suggests that those who have experienced mild symptoms of the virus are less likely to have long-term immunity.
“People can have antibodies, but it does not mean that they will be immune”Said Galit Alter, co-author of the study and a member of Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MIT and Harvard, in statements to the The Wall Street Journal.
The findings may help public health officials to identify who is most vulnerable to the coronavirus and then prioritize them for vaccination.
“To really define this at a public health level, it would be necessary to carry out reinfection studies and continue to follow people”Said Joshua T. Schiffer, associate professor in the vaccines and infectious diseases division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The authors acknowledge that the fact that the average age is 31 and 92% of the employees analyzed are men can distort your findings because people of different ages and backgrounds have different immune system responses.
SpaceX continues to analyze, test and monitor its employees for infection and reinfection every month. As the vaccine is distributed throughout the country, it will also examine the vaccine’s impact on antibody production.
This study was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
Maria Campos, ZAP //