Tag Archives: Antibodies

The FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 – a pediatrician explains how the drug was tested for safety and efficacy

For many parents, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine authorization for younger kids can’t come soon enough. Vladimir Vladimirov/E+ via Getty Images Debbie-Ann Shirley, University of Virginia Elementary school children in the United States will soon have one more layer of protection to keep them safe from COVID-19. On Oct. 29, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the …

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How effective are vaccines against omicron? An epidemiologist answers 6 questions

Understanding how much protection a vaccine offers is not as simple as it sounds. Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment via Getty Images Melissa Hawkins, American University The pandemic has brought many tricky terms and ideas from epidemiology into everyone’s lives. Two particularly complicated concepts are vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. These are not the same thing. And as time goes on and new variants …

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Will omicron – the new coronavirus variant of concern – be more contagious than delta? A virus evolution expert explains what researchers know and what they don’t

The omicron variant possesses numerous mutations in the spike protein, the knob-like protrusions (in red) that allow the virus to invade other cells. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Penn State A new variant named omicron (B.1.1.529) was reported by researchers in South Africa on Nov. 24, 2021, and designated a “variant of concern” by the …

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Your immune system is as unique as your fingerprint – new study

Christoph Burgstedt/Shutterstock Albert J.R. Heck, Utrecht University Every person appears to have a unique immune system. My colleagues and I discovered this immune diversity after charting antibodies in the blood from healthy and sick people. The discovery could help explain why, for example, COVID vaccines appear to be less effective for some people. At the same time, it points to …

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COVID-19: men create more antibodies after asymptomatic infections and keep them for longer – new research

maybealice/Shutterstock Jessica Williams, Cardiff Metropolitan University As COVID-19 has swept across the globe, it seems that high transmission rates have partly been driven by a large number of people catching the virus, not experiencing symptoms and then unknowingly passing it on. Despite this, the screening of asymptomatic people for signs of infection hasn’t been widespread, due to costs and limits …

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Coronavirus is evolving but so are our antibodies

Antibodies (white) binding to a coronavirus (red and orange). Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge and Meng Wang, University of Cambridge The emergence of “variants of concern” has raised questions about our long-term immunity to the coronavirus. Will the antibodies we make after being infected with or vaccinated against the dominant lineage, called D614G, protect us against future …

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Do COVID-19 antibodies fade more quickly in men than women?

dotshock/Shutterstock Steven Smith, Brunel University London In the global effort to overcome COVID-19, much scientific and medical attention has focused on the ability of our immune system to generate antibodies. Antibodies are one of our body’s main weapons against viruses, created to recognise specific proteins on a virus’s surface and initiate processes that ultimately neutralise and remove the virus. We …

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