RNA vaccines appear to supply very totally different antibody ranges

Image of a woman taking a blood sample from a seated person.

Enlarge / A phlebotomist attracts blood meant for antibody testing. (credit score: Frederic J. Brown / Getty Photos)

We have tended to deal with the RNA-based vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech as functionally equal. They take an an identical strategy to producing immunity and have a really comparable set of substances. Scientific trial knowledge instructed they’d very comparable efficacy—each within the space of 95 %.

So it was a little bit of a shock to have a paper launched yesterday indicating that the 2 produce an antibody response that is simple to differentiate, with Moderna inducing antibody ranges that have been greater than double that seen amongst individuals who acquired the Pfizer/BioNTech shot. Whereas it is essential to not infer an excessive amount of from a single examine, this one was giant sufficient that the outcomes are more likely to be dependable. If that’s the case, the outcomes function a warning that we’d not wish to base too a lot of our expectations on comparatively crude measures of antibody ranges.

The brand new examine

The work itself was remarkably easy. A Belgian medical middle was vaccinating its workers and requested for volunteers keen to offer blood samples. Samples have been taken each previous to vaccination and 6 to 10 weeks after, with the degrees of antibody particular to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein examined at each factors. About 700 contributors acquired the Moderna vaccine, whereas roughly 950 took the one from Pfizer/BioNTech.

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