Monoclonal antibody drugs to fight COVID are being taken off the market while new COVID vaccines are arriving, even as the old ones are standing up quite well against new viral variants. How can two interventions that tweak an immune response have such different outlooks? It stems from the biology.
Understanding what antibodies are, how our bodies make them, and how vaccine and monoclonal antibody technologies work and differ, explains the distinction.
The Antibody Response is Naturally Polyclonal
The immune system is a vast army of cells and their secretions that recognize and respond to the presence of "non-self" cells and molecules, like the spike proteins that fringe SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID. One of the first things I learned in college is that "biology is really chemistry," and that's certainly true for the immune response. It's all about recognizing molecules.
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