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Coronavirus antibodies last at least six months and offer protection against a second infection, a study of healthcare workers suggests.

Staff at Oxford University Hospitals were regularly tested both for Covid-19 infections and for antibodies revealing a past infection.

The more antibodies people had, the lower their chances of re-infection.

A separate study found pre-existing immunity from other coronaviruses also protected against Covid.

Infection consultant Dr Katie Jeffery described the Oxford findings as “encouraging news” ahead of forthcoming Covid vaccines.

They indicated that having the virus once “provides at least short-term protection” from getting it again, she said.