A UK study that has yet to be peer-reviewed suggests recovered patients' antibodies declined significantly within months of SARS-CoV-2 infection, raising the issue of how long a vaccine could prevent people catching the disease, reported the Financial Times.
Herb Sewell, a consultant immunologist, said the King's College London study appeared to show that antibodies to the virus disappeared more quickly than other coronaviruses, such as MERS, which had an immune response that lasted at least a couple of years.
The concerns come as Moderna shared positive data from its early-stage trial showing all 45 participants had produced antibodies after receiving its vaccine candidate.
Tal Zaks, chief medical officer at Moderna, said he believed it was "entirely plausible" that the antibodies fade, but that it might be because those patients were asymptomatic or started with lower levels of antibodies.
Umer Raffat, an analyst at Evercore ISI, noted that the participants' response to Moderna's potential vaccine had been "materially higher" than other candidates, including those from Inovio Pharmaceuticals and CanSino Biologics.
While it was hard to compare them directly, the Moderna vaccine also seemed to induce a better response than the vaccine being developed by Pfizer with BioNTech, Raffat added.
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