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Friday, September 24, 2021

New research: Booster shot can protect against coronavirus variants

This suggests that an additional boost, even using vaccines containing the original strain of coronavirus, will increase protection against variants of concern, the scientists said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 12, 2021 10:11:08 am
A medic prepares a syringe of the coronavirus vaccine in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo: Maya Alleruzzo)

Scientists have confirmed that an autumn “booster” dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be an effective way to protect people from existing (and potentially future) variants of concern.

They found that antibodies generated by a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine were less effective at neutralising key variants. However, the second dose, especially in those previously infected, dramatically increased neutralising antibody responses against variants — to a level comparable to those seen for the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.

This suggests that an additional boost, even using vaccines containing the original strain of coronavirus, will increase protection against variants of concern, the scientists said.

The findings have been published in Science Translational Medicine. The team identified a small group of healthcare workers vaccinated with the Pfizer jab. Around half of them were pre-exposed to the virus. The team compared the antibody response in them — before a vaccine dose, after the first dose, and after the second.

The findings were part of a wider study — PANTHER — looking at healthcare workers over a long period and their exposure to Covid-19, and the impact of that past infection and vaccination on their immunity.

Source: University of Nottingham

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