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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization officials warned Friday that although it's rare, recent data suggests some people may become reinfected with the coronavirus as their antibody response diminishes, CNBC reports.

Driving the news: Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said data has emerged that suggests "protection may not be lifelong" for people who have had the coronavirus, and "therefore we may see reinfections begin to occur."

  • According to the CDC, reinfections are expected "based on what we know from similar viruses."
  • Yes, but: The CDC says such cases are still rare.
  • In a recent study from Oxford University, researchers found that people who have had coronavirus are “highly unlikely” to contract the virus again for at least six months following their first infection.

What they're saying: Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said that researchers are still trying to understand how long an antibody response lasts after someone is infected with the coronavirus.

  • "What we understand is 90[%] to 100% of people who are infected with the coronavirus do develop an antibody response," Van Kerkhove said.

Go deeper: Scientists confirm first documented COVID-19 reinfection in the U.S.

Go deeper

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Biden to get booster shot on camera — Pfizer vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The booster vaccine discussion is far from over.
  2. Health: Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years — U.S. death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities — Chicago has highest case rates in city worker neighborhoods.
  3. Politics: Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home — Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive — Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers.
  4. Education: D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.