New COVID Infections Boost Immunity, Study Finds

According to a recent study that was just published in the journal Med, COVID-19 immunity is significantly increased by vaccine boosters as well as breakthrough infections following vaccination.

Particularly, even in people 65 and older, the immune response to severe sickness dramatically increased, which may indicate that the pandemic is changing, according to the investigators.

According to Marcel Curlin, MD, co-senior author and associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, “early in the epidemic, we had very high mortality in some vulnerable categories, like as older folks in nursing homes, but that reality is progressively improving.”

According to him, “our findings supports the notion that vaccination is a gateway to a milder illness.” “Even if you’re older, your risk of developing a severe illness if you later get infected appears to be substantially lower than it was at the beginning of the pandemic,” the researcher said.

After vaccination, the research team examined blood samples from 99 OHSU staff members, including some breakthrough cases. They examined various facets of the immune response, including neutralising antibodies and those that target the coronavirus spike protein.

Overall, the amplitude, strength, and breadth of the immune response increased similarly among individuals whose blood was taken three months after a third booster dosage and those whose blood was taken one month after a breakthrough infection, according to the research.

The immunological reaction was also potent against the circulating BA.2 Omicron variant at the time of the investigation. Researchers predicted that recipients of the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, this fall, will have an even more potent immune response.

The statement was made by Fikadu Tafesse, an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at OHSU and a co-senior author. “We anticipate that updated vaccine strategies with variant-specific regimens will significantly improve the breadth of the immune response and provide better protections against the SARS-CoV-2 variants,” he said.

The coronavirus is no longer “new” to the human immune system, as it was at the start of the pandemic, according to the study’s authors. Individuals today have more effective immune responses than in the past since the majority of people have either received vaccinations, contracted an infection, or both.

According to Curlin, the study’s findings probably support the theory that the virus is changing to become more contagious but potentially less dangerous.

Researchers found that “boosters and spontaneous infection considerably increase immune responses.” An increasing percentage of the worldwide population will have strong immune responses that could be protective against future SARS-CoV-2 variations as the number of Omicron subvariant cases rises and global vaccination and booster programmes continue.

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