The coronavirus vaccine is certainly the main topic worldwide, and the question on everyone’s lips “will we have to vaccinate again, every six months, to live normally?”
According to research done by the Institute of Immunology in California, several immune reactions remain active for at least another six months after the body had fought off the coronavirus infection. This finding is similar to data from a public health institution in Great Britain, which states that most patients who had contracted COVID-19 were protected against the disease for at least another 5 months.
Some scientists are convinced that the immunity will last longer, perhaps even years.
“We don’t know anything about it at the moment. The reason is simple – it has not yet been six months since the vaccine was administered so we know how long the immunity actually lasts,” says retired immunologist and professor at the Niš Faculty of Medicine, Dr Borislav Kamenov.
Immunologist Ana Gligić agrees with him, saying we will have to wait a little longer to make conclusions.
“Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy (INEP) associate Marija Gnjatović monitors exactly how the antibodies behave after the vaccine. She is currently testing a sample of 10,000 sera. At the moment, there is no concrete evidence, because not enough time has passed, but her conclusion so far is that antibodies can last from 6 months to a year,” explains Dr Gligić and adds that “based on the level of antibodies, that most vaccines provide a good immune response for as long as 1 year”. Anything less than 6 months would cause a big problem.
Pfizer vaccine helps the production of antibodies much faster than the other vaccines. They reach a high level very quickly after the first dose, which also increases after the second dose.
“However, although the amount of antibodies increases rapidly, it has been found that their number decreases relatively quickly. Graphically, this trend can be depicted as a cone or volcano. However, Pfizer has said that in addition to antibodies, the vaccine also creates cellular immunity. These are memory cells that, even when the antibodies start to decline, and in the event of contact or infection with the virus, they allow additional quantities of antibodies to be rapidly produced and their levels to rise very quickly. This means that antibodies are not the only type of protection,” says virologist Dr Milanko Šekler.
Sputnik V and Astra Zeneca vaccines, on the other hand, the antibodies grow more slowly, but also last longer.
“The producers of Sputnik V have stated that the vaccine will provide protection for 15 months, and perhaps even up to 2 years. On the other hand, the Chinese vaccine forms antibodies more slowly, but stimulates the entire immune system in a classic way, and has proven to protect very well in practice. So, I’m not really sure whether it will be necessary for us to receive the third dose so quickly, or even be revaccinated in a year’s time,’ Šekler concludes.
(Srbija Danas, 22.04.2021)
This post is also available in: Italiano