Two Pfizer and Moderna jabs could give lifetime protection against Covid, study finds

CORONAVIRUS vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna could give you a lifetime of protection against Covid-19, a study has found.

Experts have said that while the virus has been evolving into different variants, such as the Delta strain sweeping the UK, our immune systems have also been changing.

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The new data on the Pfizer and Moderna jabs comes after an Oxford expert revealed booster jabs may not be needed as two jabs are "effective enough".

Researchers at Washington University said jabs made by Pfizer and Moderna can set off an immune reaction in the body that could help protect you from the virus for years to come.

A team led by immunologist Dr Ali Ellebedy found people who survived Covid had immune cells that recognised the virus which lies in the bone marrow for up to eight months after infection.

Further studies have also shown that cells called memory B cells are able to strengthen a year after infection.

It's based on these findings that the researchers say immunity could last a lifetime in people who contracted the virus and then later received either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The US study, published in the journal Nature, did not look at other jabs such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

 

The experts did however say that it was not clear whether people who had just had the vaccine – and who hadn't previously had the virus would have the same protection.

Dr Ellebedy said: "It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine."

The team probe the process where immune cells are trained to recognise a virus in the lymph nodes.

When you contract Covid the germinal centre forms in the lungs, but when you have a vaccine, the cells are educated in the armpits.

The experts looked at 41 people who had previously been infected with Covid and who had received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna.

They found that 15 weeks after vaccination the germinal centre was active in 12 participants and that the cells that recognise Covid had not declined.

Dr Ellebedy said: "The fact that the reactions continued for almost four months after vaccination — that’s a very, very good sign.

"Germinal centers typically peak one to two weeks after immunisation, and then wane."

'REALLY ENCOURAGING'

Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington told the New York Times: "Everyone always focuses on the virus evolving — this is showing that the B cells are doing the same thing.

“And it’s going to be protective against ongoing evolution of the virus, which is really encouraging.”

The paper concluded: "It is possible that more-severe SARS-CoV-2 infections could lead to a different outcome.

"This, however, has not been the case in survivors of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa."

Today Oxford announced its vaccine can be used as a third-dose booster following trials, producing “a substantial increase in antibodies”.

But Prof Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “There’s no indication today that we need boosters.

"We have data showing very good levels of protection for quite some months after the second dose – over 90 per cent."

Dr Ellebedy did say however that a third dose of a vaccine could have the same effect as previous infection and two doses of a jab.

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