Elon Musk co-authored a COVID-19 antibody study of SpaceX workers

More that 4,300 SpaceX workers volunteered to be half of a COVID-19 antibody study co-authored by CEO Elon Musk in 2020.

The study, which was not too long ago printed within the journal Nature Communications, exhibits proof that contaminated individuals who exhibited milder signs developed much less of an immunity to COVID-19 than those that bought sicker from the illness. The group behind the study discovered some proof that implies there’s a specific threshold of antibodies that might present immunity, although they wrote that “the exact ranges […] related to safety from re-infection stay unclear.”

Vaccines additionally produce a a lot stronger immune response than instances with little to no signs, the authors observe. They hope that this analysis, and other studies like it, might assist policymakers determine find out how to distribute restricted vaccine provides successfully.

SpaceX workers have been requested by e mail in April 2020 to be a half of the study — proper across the time that Musk was spreading harmful misinformation in regards to the virus in inside firm emails and on Twitter. In March 2020, Musk advised SpaceX workers in an e mail that he believed they were more likely to die in a car crash than of COVID-19, and that he did not see the virus being “inside the high 100 well being dangers within the United States.” He additionally tweeted that very same month that there would “in all probability near zero new instances” within the US “by [the] finish of April.”

Nearly 500,000 Americans 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 professional from Harvard and a physician from the Ragon Institute to develop the antibody testing program, in line with The Wall Street Journal. A bunch of 30 whole co-authors from MIT, Harvard, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Center, SpaceX, and others collaborated on the study. The effort acquired funding from, amongst others, the National Institutes of Health, Musk’s own charitable foundation, the Gates Foundation’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 % of the volunteers have been male, and the median age was 31, which might skew the outcomes. The full paper and dataset are available for free on Nature’s website.

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