Extra that 4,300 SpaceX staff volunteered to be a part of a COVID-19 antibody research co-authored by CEO Elon Musk in 2020.
The study, which was lately revealed within the journal Nature Communications, reveals proof that contaminated individuals who exhibited milder signs developed much less of an immunity to COVID-19 than those that obtained sicker from the illness. The group behind the research discovered some proof that implies there’s a selected threshold of antibodies that might present immunity, although they wrote that “the precise levels […] associated with protection from re-infection remain unclear.”
Vaccines additionally produce a a lot stronger immune response than circumstances with little to no signs, the authors observe. They hope that this analysis, and other studies like it, may assist policymakers work out tips on how to distribute restricted vaccine provides successfully.
SpaceX staff had been requested by e-mail in April 2020 to be part of the research — proper across the time that Musk was spreading harmful misinformation in regards to the virus in inner firm emails and on Twitter. In March 2020, Musk advised SpaceX staff in an e-mail that he believed they were more likely to die in a car crash than of COVID-19, and that he didn’t see the virus being “within the top 100 health risks in the United States.” He additionally tweeted that very same month that there would “probably close to zero new cases” within the US “by [the] end of April.”
Practically 500,000 People have died since. Musk contracted COVID-19 in November 2020 and said he experienced mild symptoms.
The spaceflight firm had its present medical director — who oversees SpaceX’s budding human flight program — work with an infectious illness skilled from Harvard and a physician from the Ragon Institute to develop the antibody testing program, based on The Wall Road Journal. A bunch of 30 whole co-authors from MIT, Harvard, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Middle, Howard Hughes Medical Middle, SpaceX, and others collaborated on the research. The hassle obtained funding from, amongst others, the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, Musk’s own charitable foundation, the Gates Basis’s COVID-19 vaccine accelerator, and NASA’s Translational Research Institute for Space Health.
The workers who signed up gave blood samples roughly each month. The paper’s authors observe that 92 p.c of the volunteers had been male, and the median age was 31, which may skew the outcomes. The complete paper and dataset are available for free on Nature’s website.