Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Antibodies waning? The immune system has a backup plan for that

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2021

Conveniently discovered when vaccinate are being rejected by the unwashed, your natural immune system does not work against covid until after you take the vaccine!

“The research was released Aug.23 ahead of peer-review and publication.”

Jason Gale Bloomberg News TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Antibodies against the coronavirus wane over time, but the immune system has a backup plan that doesn’t rely on boosters, according to a study by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, where technology for mRNA vaccines was developed.

Researchers at the university’s Perelman School of Medicine tracked 61 people for six months after immunization with mRNA vaccines. The team noted that antibodies gradually ebbed, but that the shots generated durable immune memory to COVID-19 in the form of B and T cells that increased over time to help ward off serious illness.

‘That was maybe a little bit surprising,’ said John Wherry, director of the institute for immunology, who works in the same faculty as mRNA pioneer Drew Weissman. The research was released Aug.23 ahead of peer-review and publication.

Concern that COVID-19 vaccines are providing a weaker shield against the more-transmissible delta strain in countries that began immunizations early has prompted health authorities to consider offering third doses to boost antibody levels. President Joe Biden said recently his administration is considering whether to start offering extra jabs as soon as five months after receiving a second dose.

Although third doses promise to bolster antibodies and make them better at blocking COVID-19 for longer, the body has its own natural support to defend against COVID-19 even when circulating antibody levels decline, Wherry said.

‘Should antibodies wane and you get a little bit of local infection, you have memory B cells there to sort of renew or respond very rapidly to make new neutralizing antibodies,’ he said.

Antibodies on mucosal surfaces lining the nose and throat block the coronavirus at its portal of entry, preventing it from causing an infection. But, as protective antibodies there fade, an infection is more likely to take hold – at least until new antibodies are triggered in response. Wherry’s group found that memory B cells generated by the mRNA vaccines made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE appeared better at blocking virus variants including alpha, beta and delta, than those produced in response to a mild case of COVID-19.

Additionally, high levels of vaccine-induced T cells, a type of white blood cell capable of finding and killing virus-infected cells, were detected after six months, ‘maintaining an additional armor to protect us,’ Wherry said.

The findings help to explain why immunization remains effective at protecting against severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death even as more breakthrough infections occur.

‘Vaccinated people are really not fueling this fire; it’s really unvaccinated people that are,’ Wherry said. ‘So that’s more reason to get vaccinated.’

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