Veneto plans serosurvey but downplays potential of immunity passport


In April, as the crisis in Italy began to ease, some Italian health officials and politicians, among them Luca Zaia, the regional president of the northeastern region of Veneto, began to propose a “Covid Pass” that would Italians who have antibodies showing they have had and recovered from the coronavirus to exit the lockdown and go back to work. Veneto, adjacent to the hardest-hit area, Lombardy, planned to begin collecting 100,000 blood samples from people across the region for the purpose of studying their antibody levels in the hopes of understanding patterns of infections and symptoms. Results were expected in three to four months. Medical experts warned that there was no certainty antibodies would continue to be protective. By May, local politicians and experts were working to lower expectations, fearing that people who believed they were immune might take dangerous risks. However, doctors also noted that antibodies that can neutralise the virus are valuable in developing plasma to treat patients.
Writer: Jason Horowitz
Publication: New York Times
Publication date: 2020-04-04; 2020-05-03