- James Gallagher
- BBC Health and Science Correspondent
The new variant of the new crown disease virus Omicron (Omicron) is coming aggressively, which has severely weakened the protection of the human body against the new crown virus.
Two doses of the new crown vaccine have almost no protective effect on Omi Keron. At most, it can greatly reduce the chance of severe illness and prevent the patient from needing to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
So if the first two doses of the vaccine are ineffective against Omi Keron, why would the third dose of vaccine be effective? Regardless of which vaccine is used, it is aimed at the earliest new coronavirus, not a new vaccine developed against a new variant of the virus.
Can the third dose of booster effectively protect the human body and resist Omi Keron’s invasion? Or maybe Omi Keron has surpassed the protection of vaccines?
Fortunately, even if the syringe contains the same content, the booster needle is not just the same vaccine for the human immune system.
Compared with the previous vaccines, the third booster shot gives you much greater protection, a wider protection, and a longer-lasting protection.
New Crown Vaccine School
Fighting the new coronavirus is an ability that the human immune system must learn.
One way is to use real guns and live ammunition, which means that when you really encounter the new coronavirus, you rely on the human immune system to deal with it, but the risk is that the immune system fails or does not perform well, and the result is illness or severe illness. even death.
By analogy, the second dose of vaccine is like going to middle school, and the third dose of vaccine can be said to be going to university. Not only did you learn more, but your understanding ability also deepened. Therefore, you cannot say that you are just repeating learning. Content taught in elementary school.
Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said, “The immune system has acquired a richer knowledge and understanding of how to deal with viruses.”
He said that no matter how capable the new variant virus Omi Keron is, it is still difficult to break through a “highly trained” immune system.
Antibodies are the main beneficiaries of this education system.
Antibody is a stubborn protein that can adhere to the outside of the new coronavirus. The neutralizing antibody invalidates the attack of the new coronavirus, and the new coronavirus can no longer invade human cells. Other antibodies are like flashing neon lights. The biological sign for “kill the virus” is the same.
Some laboratory studies and real data show that the neutralizing antibodies produced by the two doses of vaccine are not effective against Omi Keron.
Professor Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London, said that the protection against Omi Keron is “equal to zero” and it is very easy to be infected.
So it’s better to let your immune system go to school.
Each dose of vaccine can trigger the immune system to evolve a new round of antibodies, which can produce stronger antibodies and attach more firmly to the outside of the virus. This process is called “affinity maturation”.
Professor Atman said, “As time goes by, your antibodies will get better and better, with higher skills and more experience.”
If the antibody can more closely attach to the new coronavirus, Omi Keron’s variant will be difficult to shake off the entanglement of the antibody. Although the virus has mutated, the essence of the virus is still the same, and there are some things that will not change.
More rounds of vaccines can also allow the immune system to deepen its comprehensive skills and deal with virus attacks more effectively.
B cells and T cells
Boosters not only improve the quality of antibodies, but the number of antibodies will also increase.
Professor Charles Bangham, an immunologist at Imperial College London, said, “You will have more antibodies in your body and higher concentration of antibodies in your blood. We don’t know how long this will last, but the more vaccines you receive, The longer the memory of the immune system is.”
In the same study that showed that the two doses of vaccines were not sufficiently protective against Omi Keron, it was also found that the protective power increased by approximately 75% after receiving the third booster shot.
After being vaccinated with the booster shot, the immune system has the upper hand in the face of mutated strains that may appear in the future.
B cells are the cells that produce a large number of antibodies in the human immune system. After inoculation with the booster shot, some B cells mature and produce antibodies that can stubbornly attach to the new coronavirus. Some B cells can detect and find the new coronavirus invading the body.
Professor Bauer said, “These B cells can strengthen human immunity. Once B cells proliferate, they can fight against new variant viruses.”
In addition, there are T cells. After the booster is inoculated, the number of T cells has also increased, and the ability to fight the new coronavirus has become stronger.
T cells use different methods to identify the new coronavirus, which protects our body to detect any signs of infection by the new coronavirus. T cells identify parts of the new coronavirus that are not prone to mutation.
Therefore, even if Omi Keron can invade our immune system, every dose of the vaccine can enhance our body’s ability to protect against the new coronavirus infection, and the antibodies produced can also protect us from severe illness.
Professor Bonham said, “There is absolutely no way to perfect the immunity against the virus. There is always a possibility of breakthrough infection. What we can do is to minimize the response after infection to ensure that you will not get sick.”