A Politico Q&A with Dr. Ankur Mutreja and Dr Deepak Nath covers vaccines, testing, and tackling covid-19 in Europe and across the globe.
The COVID-19 vaccination effort is now well underway, although the need for testing is still very much present. That’s where Dr Mutreja and Dr Nath come in. Dr Mutreja is Group Leader in Global Health (Infectious Diseases) at the University of Cambridge, and Dr Nath is President of Laboratory Diagnostics at Siemens Healthineers. They spoke to POLITICO Studio about the research taking place with regards to testing, vaccines, and the impact of variants on immunity and vaccine effectiveness.
Q. What is the goal of antibody (serology) testing and why is it important?
A. (Dr Nath) We need systemic antibody testing to determine, first of all, the full scope of disease and the best ways to combat the pandemic. The other reason why this is important is variants. There are some real question marks as to the impact of these variants on vaccine effectiveness. The best way to get a handle on that is to have tests available that are able to say whether a patient is immune, not only against the original variant but also subsequent mutations of the variant. Another important step is how we compare these levels across tests from different manufacturers, so there’s a level of standardization necessary. So, when you report a concentration, that’s an absolute measure, not a relative measure.
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