Science says: It’s the Covid-19 vaccines that can give longer-lasting protection

A study examined the durability of the protection offered by currently applied vaccines against Covid-19, and its comparison with the immunity afforded by infection naturally. According to this research, current messenger RNA vaccines, Pfizer and ModernThey are the ones that offer the longest duration of protection.

“The unprecedented development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 represented a triumph in the global effort to control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines have been shown to provide short-term protection against the major adverse health effects of hospitalization and death,” note the researchers of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

In this context, they specify that protection against new infections decreases over time, and that vaccines provide longer-lasting immunity than the antibodies produced by naturally contracting the infectionand emphasize the need for booster vaccination to reduce infections and reinfections.

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Research supports the need to give boosters and keep vaccinations up to date.

The details of the study on the duration of immunity against Covid-19

In this regard, the study found that the current mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, provide longer duration of protection than Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinesand superior to natural infection.

The natural infection gave an average of 21.5 months of protection against progressive infection, while mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna elicited higher antibody levels than natural infection, resulting in a median time to progressive infection 29.6 months.

The authors found that viral vector vaccines produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen elicited antibody levels similar to those induced by natural infection, with a median time to onset of infection of 22.4 months and 20.5 months, respectively.

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Jeffrey Townsend, The Yale School of Public Health professor and lead author of the study explained: “mRNA vaccines produce the highest levels of antibody response and, in our analysis, provide longer lasting protection than other vaccines or exhibitions.” “.

“However, it is important to remember that natural immunity and vaccination are not mutually exclusive. Many people will have partial immunity from multiple sources, so understanding relative durability is key to deciding when to boost your immune system. »

In this sense, the scientists said that reliable protection against reinfection “requires an updated booster with vaccines adapted to deal with the changes in the virus that occur as part of its natural evolution over time”.

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Alex Dorburg, The assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who led the study with Townsend, said on this point that it is important to keep in mind that the virus “will evolve in a way that escapes our natural immune response and any vaccine-derived immune response.”

This is why, together with Townsend, they consider that the continuous updating of our vaccines and boosters “It is essential for our fight against SARS-CoV-2”.


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