Without “Booster,” Three Vaccines Have Strong Immune Response Up To 8 Months

Illustration – A bottle labeled Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (BP/Ant)

JAKARTA, BALIPOST.com – A study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that three COVID-19 vaccines still showed signs of a strong immune response up to 8 months after injection without a booster. In the study, the researchers found signs that all three vaccines provide strong and long-lasting protection against the risk of disease severity.

The three vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The analysis also hints at differences in the way vaccines produce antibodies.

The antibodies from Pfizer and Moderna spiked and then dropped rapidly, while the Johnson & Johnson antibodies were more stable over time. “By eight months, antibody responses were comparable for these three vaccines,” said Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Dan Barouch as quoted from Antara News Agency, Sunday (17/10).

Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines rely on the same type of technology, namely mRNA. While Johnson & Johnson uses virus vector technology.

These two technologies trigger different types of immune responses. Antibodies, which are proteins that fight viruses in the blood, are an indication that the vaccine is working. But antibodies are only one part of the body’s overall immune response.

The new study is the first to compare not only antibodies, but also T-cells in all three vaccines. T-cells are also an important part of the immune system, and may offer longer-lasting protection even after antibodies drop. “The T-cell response likely contributes to vaccine protection against severe disease. The T-cell response was relatively stable for all three vaccines over eight months,” said Barouch.

Director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health, Dr. Todd Ellerin says, the higher the neutralizing antibody titer, the more protected you are from infection. According to him, this is the reason there is an advantage in giving two doses of mRNA vaccine compared to a single dose of Johnson & Johnson in preventing infection. However, when it comes to severe disease, the available vaccines are just as great. (kmb/balipost)

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