Or they could figure out what they target and make better vaccines.
Any research in this area is very welcome! And hopefully this apparently novel set of antibodies will add to the arsenal. This study is related to viral antigen mapping which is very important indeed. Yet here’s my boring “but” about efficacy estimates: they’re very hard to conduct, not the least because you can’t take a ‘standard human subject’ and subject them to an untreated guaranteed pathogenic dose and then in parallel try the therapeutic. Instead it’s statistics on devilishly low numbers of N, or in this case purely done in vitro (no humans involved). For instance, the original Pfizer mRNA vaccine was computed to provide 95% efficacy against the Moderna’s 94.5% (did they really have enough for even those slight significant digits?) Then, perhaps associated with yet to be resolved covid variants, that number dropped to something like 67%. Differing metrics conducted over rapidly moving targets.
Emphasis mine. This gives me hope, but I have said many times to not hang too much on a single paper, and especially on one in vitro paper. Lots of work to do before this is ready for prime time, but hopeful nonetheless.
Wouldn’t the cost/labor of administering an antibody infusion to every infected person be prohibitive, especially compared to the cost/labor of administering a vaccine?
This is promising for someone who is infected and experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms.
right. and Im just thinking of the way most Americans interact with hospitals… they tend not to see a doctor until they are seriously ill. It’s wonderful to think seriously ill people could be treated, that really is awesome. But I’m just thinking people will still die because an infusion is a more compliated and Im sure more expensive ordeal. And I don’t see how this could prevent the spread of a disease that seems to spread easily amongst people who are at the stage with mild symptoms. So I don’t see why they would suggest it could eliminate the need for vaccines… I don’t mean to be a debbie downer. It just seems like this is being oversold a bit. The honest part: that it could help seriously ill people to not die, is amazing enough on it’s own!
Your bold to 1000%. People need to be very understanding that in vitro does not mean or necessarily work the same as in vivo. Both for good and bad. As soon as I heard this, I saw people suggesting this immediately get injected…that’s now how this works.
Also, while this could lead to useful therapeutics, I’m not really understanding how this would affect the necessity of boosters. They aren’t really directly comparable. Antibody treatments are helpful for people who are recently infected and at risk for developing serious disease. But assessing that risk is difficult and detecting it early enough to treat effectively is often a problem. These treatments are great but are no substitute for vaccines including boosters.
Separately there is still a bit of an open question of how much we really need or will continue to need boosters. We really still don’t know to what extent vaccine derived resistance fades beyond the initial ~3-6 month antibody phase, how effective subsequent boosters actually are at conferring long term protection, or the genetic drift rates or the utility of variant specific vaccines. It’s not that we know nothing: there have already been a number of publications about each of these topics. But it is a big area with a lot of variables to untangle and we are still trying to build the whole picture.
The FDA and CDC are still trying to take their best educated guesses on some of these topics, with recommendations on second boosters and approval of the multivalent vaccines based on evidence, but a lot of that is focused on safety and secondary performance metrics. But I would say we still don’t have a great idea what will be recommended 2 or 3 years from now.
IOW, WDKS. As it has been.
My hopefulness is more of a second order sort. I could possibly see, once we know the antigen to attack, developing a vaccine that generates an antibody to attack said antigen. Having the antigen itself is only marginally useful, but is a first step to perhaps developing a universal covid vaccine. Like I said, lots of work to be done.
This isn’t going to be like one of those stories about something that kills cancer cells, is it?
I’m coviding right now!!!
I also question the comparions to vaccinations.
Biologics are bloody expensive (Thousands of dollars per dose) compared to vaccines (~$15 per dose). So to save money, you would somehow create a monitoring and delivery system where you are controlling (spread and morbidity) a highly contagious virus, while treating less than 1% of the people you would vaccinate.
Which isn’t to say a new biologic isn’t helpfull for those that need it. But a replacement for vaccines? I doubt it.
I hope these new antibodies are better, 'cause those last couple of shots didn’t improve my cell phone reception worth squat!
Perhaps you didn’t get the right one. I got the officially endorsed Pfizer-Gates 6G Wonderoo booster. Not only did it prevent COVID for me, but I’m now able to switch songs on my Zune by just thinking about it!
- Sent from my Windows phone
We need smaller bullets?
Aaaaah, in vitro. I’ve utterly given up explaining that no, they haven’t ‘scientifically proved smoking weed cures cancer, they’re just, like suppressing the information, you know?’. It’s just too annoying.
I’ve been experiencing long covid symptoms since May, if something like this would help, the money I’d be willing to spend on it goes up every month. I has gotten better but I still get very tired very quickly.
That’s the scary part of this. Some technobabble woo meister will latch onto this news, claim he “has the answer” and bilk folks for every cent they have. Probably throw “quantum” in there somewhere just to up the ante.
“My anti-quantum bodies will eliminate the 5g quantum vibrations from the engineered virus mRNA!”
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