US – According to the new study published in the Nature journal, people who received mRNA vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech are more likely to be protected form the corona virus for longer periods than it was previously anticipated.
The study was conducted by a National institute of Health supported research team led by Jackson Turner, Jane O’Halloran, Rachel Presti, and Ali Ellebedy at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
Based on the research team findings, the immune systems of individuals who received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines exhibited robustness and persistence that the research group believes can last for several years.
Under the study, the group of researchers selected 14 healthy adults who were scheduled to receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Three weeks after their first dose of vaccine, the volunteers underwent a lymph node biopsy, primarily from nodes in the armpit. Similar biopsies were repeated at four, five, seven, and 15 weeks after the first vaccine dose.
By the 15-week mark, all of the participants sampled continued to have active germinal centers in their lymph nodes.
These centers produced an army of cells trained to remember the spike protein, along with other types of cells, including antibody-producing plasma blasts, that were locked and loaded to neutralize this key protein.
As a matter of fact, one of the researchers, Ellebedy noted that even after the study ended at 15 weeks, he and his team continued to find no signs of germinal center activity slowing down in the lymph nodes of the vaccinated volunteers.
This study comes at a time when most vaccine producers are advising their users to go for the booster shot which they believed would protect them from the mutating SAR-COV-2.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said such a conclusion would be premature, since vaccine protection looks really good right now, including for the delta variant that has all of us concerned.
Though the finding is a sign of hope for humanity against SAR-COV-2 in the long-term, it still leaves one wondering on what is the most reliable correlate of immunity from COVID-19 vaccines.