US Study Suggests mRNA Vaccines Trigger Persistent Immunity
As part of Singapore’s ongoing national vaccination programme, mRNA vaccines are available to residents free of charge.
Despite their demonstrated efficacy, the possibility of needing future booster shots occupies everyone’s mind.
A US study revealed on Monday (28 Jun) new evidence that mRNA vaccines trigger immune reactions that may last for years.
These findings effectively mean that those inoculated with mRNA vaccines may not require booster shots.
However, that’s only if the variants do not mutate much beyond their current surface structures.
As virus evolves, so do our immune cells
Earlier findings suggest that those infected with Covid-19 and later received their jabs might gain year-long, or even life-long immunity, reports The New York Times (NYT).
However, scientists were unsure if vaccination alone can achieve a similar effect. They, therefore, set out to address the concern.
The study, which was published in the established journal Nature, found our immune cells learning to fight a range of viral variants.
While we tend to focus on the virus evolving, our immune cells are actually doing the same.
As such, our immune system will be able to shield us against ongoing viral mutation, says an immunologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.
mRNA vaccines trigger persistent immune reaction
The study involved 41 individuals receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with 8 having past history of infections.
Apparently, the mRNA vaccine has triggered immune reactions lasting over 4 months. This contrasts with conventionally induced immunisation that lasts 4 to 6 weeks.
Therefore, the study suggests that mRNA vaccines offer long-term protection against existing Covid-19 variants.
However, the elderly and those with weak immune systems or on treatment to suppress immunity may still require booster shots.
Possible radical mutation of existing variants is another cause for booster shots as well.
Hope arises from promising findings
The groundbreaking study sheds light on the boons of mRNA vaccines in triggering persistent immune reactions in our bodies.
While the virus seems to be constantly evolving, it’s reassuring to know that our immune system is training constantly to target the variants as well.
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