The Health Information and Quality Authority has said that the duration of immunity following Covid-19 infection should be considered to be six months.

In a review of the evidence, published today, HIQA says that the current guidance that immunity following infection lasts for at least three months should be extended to six months.

HIQA said that its advice to NPHET has implications for a number of policy areas, including exemption from close contact status, serial testing in selected work settings and testing prior to admission to, or transfer to a healthcare facility.

"The risk of reinfection with SARS-CoV2 during that period is very low and no evidence was found to suggest that immunity wanes over this period, " said Dr Máirín Ryan, HIQA's deputy CEO and Director of Health Technology Assessment.

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The studies HIQA examined were all conducted prior to December 2020.

As a result, it said the application of the findings to the new strains and vaccinated populations is unknown.

It also cautioned that the advice may not apply to some groups, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said the Health Service Executive is updating its policy in relation to the HIQA guidance.

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