According to American researchers, the corona vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna put the immune system to work for such a long time that, according to American researchers, they may well provide years of protection against the virus. They provided that it doesn’t mutate in a way that bypasses vaccines.
“A very, very good sign,” Washington University immunologist Ali Ellebedy told The New York Times. He and his team have published their findings in the renowned scientific journal Nature.
The study was not very large, but it was intensive for the participants. Fourteen people voluntarily had their lymph nodes punctured, in which immune cells are primed to recognize and help fight viruses effectively. The subjects underwent the punctures several times, up to fifteen weeks after their first injection.
The research showed that the centre where so-called B memory cells receive their ‘training’ was still very active after those fifteen weeks. Research leader Ellebedy is delighted about this because other vaccinations are known to have less potent effects after a week or two.
Immunologists from other universities are also pleased with the findings. Deepta Bhattacharya of the University of Arizona estimates based on the study that a possible follow-up shot, a so-called booster, will only be necessary if specific corona variants emerge that the vaccines do not work well against. There will be no question of simply decreasing immunity, and the immunologist tells The New York Times. “I just don’t see that happening.”
It is not yet possible to say with certainty after this study how long the vaccines will protect against the coronavirus. The research also says nothing about the vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. They work in a different way than the so-called mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.