COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise but virus survivors ‘protective antibodies’ shown not to last long


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Results of the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccine human study shows that it worked to trigger an immune response against the virus.

The vaccine is made by Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company.

Yale Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Oneyma Ogbuago is encouraged.

“It’s really exciting that the 45 participants who got the vaccine that the vaccine was shown to be safe and the right kind of immune response, the virus was actually found in all of the patients who went through the study, very excited.”

Still unknown is whether the responses seen in the phase one trials would actually protect against the infection. Phase two studies are now ongoing and a much larger phase three is scheduled to start soon in July.

“We hope that in a couple of months, maybe the end of the year or early next year we’d have reasonable data generated to let us know if the vaccine works or not,” says Dr. Ogbuago.

Not such positive news for the protective antibodies that COVID survivors have after being infected. New research shows that protection may decline in just twenty to thirty days after COVID-19 symptoms emerge. Antibodies are the proteins the body makes to fight infection.

“It’s very concerning because what it means is that the individuals could be re-infected a couple of months after COVID. It has implications for vaccines because it then makes you question the durability of the immune responses that individuals produce,” says Dr. Ogbuago.

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