Ómicron: how long do antibodies last after the third booster dose of Pfizer
According to a new scientific study, the antibodies that fight Covid-19 and that are capable of lock Omicron variant last up to four months after a third injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
The laboratory study was published by the American newspaper The Washington Post but it has not yet been peer-reviewed, so it will need to be replicated and extended to a longer period. But nevertheless, offers first clue to durability of coronavirus vaccine protection.
In this way, according to the information that emerges from this study, arguably not necessary receive a fourth dose of the vaccine in the immediate time. “This is very, very new to the field,” said the microbiologist from the medical branch of the University of Texas at Galveston, Pei-Yong Shi. He and his team analyzed antibodies in the blood of people vaccinated against an Omicron-like virus in collaboration with Pfizer scientists.
“This shows that at least up to four months after the third dose there is still substantial neutralizing activity against Omicron.”, explained the specialist in dialogue with Washington Post.
Although it was already known that vaccine antibodies decrease in the months after inoculation, the Ómicron variant put science in check because even in the month after the second dose, when the levels of antibodies that fight the virus should be near the maximum, they were minimal and even undetectable in many cases. By the time those people were about to receive their third dose, Omicron’s blocking antibodies were even less apparent.
According to this study, a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rebuilds the line of immune protection against the Omicron variant and increases the breadth of the immune response by creating a more potent repertoire of antibodies, a process known as affinity maturation. This greater breadth of protection is thought to be one of the reasons the third injection is so useful against the variant.
The study also ensures that during the four months after the booster injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, antibodies against the Omicron variant decreased but remained high enough to still provide a layer of protectionShi explained. However, there is still uncertainty about what happens after four months. That is, if the antibody levels continue to drop after that period of time or if they end up stabilizing at some level.
Pfizer Y BioNTech, for their part, said in a statement on Monday that in a short time will test both a fourth dose of the original vaccine and a specific booster injection for the Omicron variant in human trials. Regardless of whether they continue to manufacture the original injection, or revise it to combat Omicron, the American giant and its German partner plan to manufacture 4 billion doses of its vaccine this year.