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The emergence of a handful of people reinfected by SARS-Cov-2 — including individuals in Hong Kong, Italy and the U.S. — has sparked panic over the future course of the pandemic.

It’s not difficult to see why. One of the great hopes in tackling the new coronavirus is that partial herd immunity can slow its spread, as the number of cases continues to rise globally. A vaccine — seen as the real game changer in the fight against the pathogen — also relies on inducing some form of long-lasting antibody reaction in inoculated individuals.

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