Some important news today is being reported as though it were of consequence to anyone other than scientists. I woke up to this, from the good people generating content for Bloomberg's news gambit:
I appreciate everyone doing their best to make sense of this moment. I'm not confident I could've done better under given limitations. It is truly confusing. We all want definitive evidence, and people everywhere are promising it. Many even have credentials.
I also geniuinely appreciate that the archaic process of academic publication is so often being uprooted by more equitable, transparent, and timely methods of sharing information.
That said: research that was merely "posted on twitter" requires an extra few layers of scrutiny that would've been provided by peer reviewers under the archaic system.
Not to say it's wrong. In this case, the research does not show "loss of immune protection."
The way that antibodies bind is not a complete picture of immunity. It's more like a soccer player getting past one defender. It's meaningful, but it's not a goal. Likewise, vaccines do more than create antibodies. The binding capacity of antibodies is just one part of the picture.
The only way to know if this or any future variant is indeed escaping immunity—in meaningful ways—is to follow it clinically. This will become clear over coming weeks and months. If updates to guidelines are warranted, trust you'll hear about them.
Until then, I hope you're following this with interest that's more curious than panicked.
I'll write more on this soon.