Friday, September 15, 2023

Anti-covid vaccines don't keep up with variants. Why do they work well anyway?

1:39 PM |

 As we step into the fall of 2023, a new chapter in the fight against COVID-19 unfolds with the rollout of updated booster vaccines[1]. The constant emergence of new variants and subvariants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has necessitated this evolution in our immunization strategy.

Our current vaccines primarily target the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, also known as 'Kraken'[2]. However, the landscape of the pandemic is shifting. Recent studies indicate a surge in cases caused by the Eris variant (EG.5.1), prevalent not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom and China[2]. Additionally, the Pirola variant (BA.2.86), though less transmissible, has garnered substantial attention[2]. 

Despite these shifts, the good news is that the upcoming boosters are expected to offer robust protection against these emerging versions of the virus[2]. This is primarily due to the multi-faceted immune response triggered by vaccines. While antibodies play a crucial role in defending against mild and moderate diseases, T cells eliminate already infected cells and stimulate the production of more antibodies[2].

The Omicron variant's dominance in late 2021 and early 2022 did not result in a corresponding increase in hospitalizations. This was likely due to the activation of T cells, which recognized parts of the virus that remained consistent throughout its mutations[2]. It suggests that the target of our booster vaccines, to an extent, may not significantly influence their effectiveness[2].

Preliminary studies are suggesting that antibodies from previous infections and vaccines should be able to neutralize the Pirola variant. Early indicators from Pfizer and Moderna also point towards their newly approved vaccines generating a strong immune response against both Eris and Pirola[2]. 

This fall's new COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are a beacon of hope in our ongoing battle against the pandemic. However, awareness and outreach are crucial to ensure the benefits of these vaccines reach all corners of our society[3]. Our collective efforts in this direction can help us stay ahead in our fight against COVID-19. 

Stay updated, stay safe, and let's embrace the fall with renewed hope and resilience!


[1] As per U.S. health officials' announcement, the booster vaccine for fall is being updated to better protect against emerging variants.

[2] The new COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for this fall will be available by mid-September, offering protection against the Eris and Pirola variants.

[3] With the new vaccines, the likelihood of infection, severe illness, and long COVID can decrease, but without proper outreach and promotion, vulnerable individuals might be left behind.

References: [1] A new, sensible plan for fall covid boosters is taking shape [2] New COVID vaccine and booster shots for this fall to be ... [3] There's Terrific News About the New Covid Boosters, but ...

You Might Also Like :

0 commenti:

Post a Comment