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We might not ever get effective coronavirus vaccine

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 23, 2020
Coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus and scientists still know very little about it.
David States
Angstrom Bio   David States
About a quarter of common colds are caused by human coronaviruses, but the antibodies that build up to protect the immune system don’t last long, meaning people can easily contract a cold again.

Studies have shown that most people who recover Covid-19 develop some antibodies, but it is not known how much protection they offer or how long they last.

Researchers from the University of Oxford analysed blood from recovered patients and found that levels of IgG antibodies, which is responsible for longer-lasting immunity, rose steeply in the first month of infection but then began to fall.

David States, chief medical officer of the U.S. health technology company Angstrom Bio, spelt out the challenges in a thread on Twitter last week.

"If you’re hoping a vaccine is going to be a knight in shining armour saving the day, you may be in for a disappointment.

"Sars-Cov-2 is a highly contagious virus.

"A vaccine will need to induce durable high level immunity, but coronaviruses often don’t induce that kind of immunity", he said.

He then pointed to the Oxford study, adding: "This is consistent with the other human coronaviruses.

"They induce an immune response, but it tends to fade so the same virus can reinfect us a year or two later." He added: "The problem is that Sars-Cov-2 is a highly contagious virus.That means a vaccine will need to be quite effective if it’s going to stop the spread."