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posted by martyb on Friday May 28 2021, @09:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the if-there-are-antibodies-are-there-also-unclebodies? dept.

Up to now, people have been discouraged from getting antibody tests to measure what their COVID vaccination did. The reasoning behind that advice is that since nobody knew what a given level meant in actionable terms, it was not useful information.

That just changed.

Nature has published the results of research into the relationship between antibody levels post-vaccination and vaccine efficacy, with plenty of different vaccines.

An easy-to-read overview is at

The full paper, with the methodology and conclusions, is at (It looks like careful work but it's over my head in places.)

The bottom line is that they found a clear correlation and protection levels keep going up as antibody levels go up, though there's some diminishing returns at the very top end where the mRNA vaccines are.

The cool part is they figured out what antibody level would give you the 50% protection that we would have been willing to accept from a vaccine. The mRNA vaccines leave you with an order of magnitude more. That's quite a comforting safety factor against variants and gradual decline.

Journal References:
1.) Smriti Mallapaty. Scientists zero in on long-sought marker of COVID-vaccine efficacy, (DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-01372-6)
2.) David S. Khoury, Deborah Cromer, Arnold Reynaldi, et al. Neutralizing antibody levels are highly predictive of immune protection from symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection [open], Nature Medicine (DOI: 10.1038/s41591-021-01377-8)

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  • (Score: 2) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Friday May 28 2021, @06:25PM (1 child)

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Friday May 28 2021, @06:25PM (#1139782)

    Even without a booster those enormous antibody levels can make up for some loss of binding effectiveness to variants. If one antibody molecule falls off, that's OK as long as there's another nearby to take its place.

    The immune system naturally prepares for variants, it turns out. Instead of throwing out all the second-rate matches and only keeping the most effective antibody producing cells, it maintains a suite of antibodies some of which sort of work. When a virus mutates, it may hit one that's already by coincidence effective against it.

    We did evolve to defend against mutating viruses.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @09:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @09:14PM (#1139842) [] []

    The "some loss of binding effectiveness" is far from the worst thing that can result from an unlucky variant-mismatch.