(PresidentialWire.com)- According to a new study, 12% of residents of Orange County, California, may have developed antibodies that protect them from COVID-19 by summer. It could mean that a significant portion of the county, and much of the rest of the United States, already enjoys natural protection from the virus.
The study, which was funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency, discovered that seroprevalence of COVID-19 – which means the level of a pathogen in a population as measured through blood – is as much as seven times higher than official statistics. Interestingly, it also found that Hispanic people were hit harder by the pandemic.
Scientists studied blood samples from people living in Orange County and discovered that 12% already had antibodies. That means they had already contracted the virus and their bodies had naturally fought it off at some point – whether they knew they had it or not.
If the study is right, and it has yet to be peer-reviewed and confirmed, it would mean that as many as 371,000 people in the county have already had COVID-19 – and maybe more.
Latino residents from low-income households were more likely to have already contracted and fought off the virus, with Black and non-Latino White residents being less likely to have contracted it.
The study comes at a time when people across California are still unable to live their lives as normal, and Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is promising to delay the rollout of the vaccine once it is approved by the FDA.
Newsom, along with three other Democratic governors across the country, has vowed to appoint a COVID-19 vaccine committee that would analyze the vaccine before agreeing to roll it out across the state. He proposed the plans despite knowing that any vaccine will already need to have been approved by the FDA and tested thoroughly over a period of months.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported how public health officials are concerned about rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Southern California. Los Angeles, Riverside, Imperial, and San Bernardino have all seen new daily infections increase over the past week.