Interviewer: Professor Nathaniel Landau (or Ned Landau),
thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us today, to update us on
the potential for novel SARS-CoV-2 variants to evade vaccine-induced immunity,
resulting in the development of Covid in mRNA-vaccinated individuals.
First of all, what was the initial aim of the investigation you conducted,
where the neutralizing efficiency of convalescent sera (i.e. those taken from recovered patients)
was compared to that of individuals vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, with mRNA vaccines in particular?
Prof. Landau: The original vaccines, as they were formulated, were against the earlier forms of SARS-CoV-2,
so they raise antibodies that are specific to that particular spike protein,
but more recently, the virus has mutated and the spike protein is a little bit different.
The question was to determine how well antibodies that were raised by the vaccine
- as well as antibodies raised by somebody who was naturally infected with the earlier form of the virus -
how well those antibodies would neutralize the newer forms of the virus.
This would give us an idea of how well the vaccines will retain their ability to protect against
infection with the more recent forms of the virus, as well as how well somebody who was infected
with the earlier virus will be protected from becoming reinfected.