Less than 5% of blood donors have novel coronavirus anti-bodies

According to research carried out by the Red Cross and the national public health research institute Sciensano just 4.7% of blood donors have developed anti-bodies against the novel coronavirus. The new figures show that the percentage of blood donors that have developed anti-bodies has not increased since mid-April. It is now simply a case of wait and see as to whether the percentage increases any further or that it remains at or around its current level. 

In a press statement the Red Cross says "The fact that hardly 5% of the population has developed anti-bodies means that herd immunity is a very long way off. We will have to wait and see whether this trend continues and further research will need to be carried out to find out what the reason is”.

The Red Cross stress that anti-bodies can be measured in the blood from around two weeks after a person has become infected. The results released on Friday were from blood samples tested in mid-May and reflect the percentage of people that became infected at the start of May or earlier.