Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX has used its staff to help researchers with a Covid-19 antibody study. That reported the “Wall Street Journal”. The results of the study have now been published in the renowned journal “Nature Communications” – and Elon Musk is named as a co-author.
According to the study, SpaceX sent a circular email to employees requesting volunteers who would take part in a regular antibody study to investigate Covid-19. Then 4,300 Space-X employees got in touch to give blood samples every month so that they could be tested for antibodies. According to the journal, Musk and SpaceX’s chief medical officer, Anil Menon, tried to use various doctors and academics to develop the study.
The study aims to help understand how Covid-19 works and whether a certain number of antibodies could provide a level of immunity. The results of the study suggest that people who had only mild symptoms of Covid-19 disease developed fewer antibodies. That could mean they have less long-term immunity and could get infected again faster. Researchers who are still working on the study have already observed some cases of reinfection among employees. They had previously had low levels of antibodies.
“People can have antibodies, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune,” said Dr. Galit Age opposite the Wall Street Journal. He is one of the co-authors of the study and Professor of Medicine at Havard Medical School. “The good news is that most vaccines are far higher [Antikörper-]Values than these values evoke, ”added Dr. Add age. The scientists are still in the process of researching whether and for how long a Covid 19 disease offers permanent immunity. Dr. Alter also told the Wall Street Journal that Elon Musk had a personal interest in the research. He got the study’s authors to educate themselves and other SpaceX executives about how vaccines and antibodies work.
61 percent of 120 tested positive showed no symptoms
SpaceX was able to use medical facilities that were set up before the pandemic for the study. The company recruited interns for the study from nearby hospitals to help draw blood from the volunteers. Of the 4,300 participants, 120 tested positive for Covid-19, whose blood was carefully examined. It was determined how many antibodies were produced during an infection. Of the 120 people affected, 61 percent reported that they had no symptoms. Of the 120-person sample, 92 percent were male, the average age was 31 years. The larger sample of all 4,300 participants was 84.3 percent male and had an average age of 32 years – although the age range ranged from 18 to 71 years.
Elon Musk himself said that he tested positive for the coronavirus last November. During the first few months of the pandemic, the billionaire repeatedly vented his frustration with the lockdown measures, calling them “fascist”. At one point, he even defied the curfew and opened his Tesla factory in Alameda County, California, even though several employees tested positive for the virus.
This article was translated from English and edited by Julia Knopf. You can read the original here.