World Health Organisation warns countries against issuing coronavirus ‘immunity passports’

The World Health Organisation has warned countries against issuing ‘immunity passports’ for people who have recovered from coronavirus, saying there is a lack of proof at this time that antibodies protect someone from becoming infected again.

SUCH a move could in fact increase the risk of Covid-19 continuing to spread, the WHO cautioned in a scientific brief on Saturday, as people who have already been infected and made a recovery might assume they couldn’t catch it a second time and so stop taking precautions.

“Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection,” the WHO said.

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

The WHO said most studies have shown that people who have got over infection do have antibodies to the virus, but some have very low levels of neutralising antibodies in their blood, “suggesting that cellular immunity may also be critical for recovery.”

Last week Chile announced plans to issue ‘health passports’ to Covid-19 patients who had recovered from the illness, allowing them to rejoin to rejoin the workforce.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page