COVID-19 infection after vaccine may create ‘superimmunity’, study finds – NBC Chicago
People who contract a breakthrough infection after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may acquire “superimmunity” against the virus, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have found.
A study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that antibodies in blood samples from people with breakthrough infections were up to 1,000% times more effective than those generated two weeks after the second. dose of Pfizer vaccine.
As part of the study, blood samples were taken from 52 people, all university employees who received the Pfizer vaccine. A total of 26 people were identified as having mild breakthrough infections after vaccination. Of those cases, 10 involved the highly contagious delta variant, nine were non-delta, and seven were unknown variants, according to the study.
“You can’t get a better immune response than this,” said Dr Fikadu Tafesse, senior author and assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at OHSU. “These vaccines are very effective against serious diseases …”
Researchers claim that each exposure after vaccination strengthens the immune response to subsequent exposures, even to new variants.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady explained on Tuesday which variant of COVID-19 is currently leading the outbreak in the Midwest. While 99.9% of COVID cases are currently delta variant, she predicted that the omicron variant would soon spread rapidly based on studies from other countries.
“I think this speaks to a possible endgame,” said co-author Dr Marcel Curlin, associate professor of medicine at OHSU School of Medicine. “That doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it indicates where we’re likely to land: once you’re vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, you’re probably going to be reasonably well-protected from future variants.”
The group also measured the immune response to the live virus exposed to blood drawn from people with breakthrough cases and compared it to the immune response of the control group, the university said. They found that the revolutionary cases generated more antibodies initially. Therefore, these antibodies were “significantly better” at neutralizing live virus.
The researchers noted that they had not specifically looked at the omicron variant, but based on the results of the study, it is expected that breakthrough infections of the variant will generate an equally strong immune response in those who have been vaccinated.
âThe key is to get the vaccine,â Curlin said. âYou have to have a base of protection. “