New study finds COVID vaccines provide long-lasting immunity

National

ST. LOUIS – Immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines have been found to be strong and potentially long-lasting.

That’s according to a new study by the Washington University School of Medicine that was published Monday in the journal Nature.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created with mRNA technology that “provide instructions for the body to build and release foreign proteins, such as the spike protein in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” according to a press release.

The goal of this study, which started in mid-December, was to see if this new mRNA technology provides the body with a good germinal center response.

“Germinal centers are where our immune memories are formed,” said senior author Ali Ellebedy, PhD, an associate professor of pathology & immunology, of medicine and of molecular microbiology.

“The longer we have a germinal center, the stronger and more durable our immunity will be because there’s a fierce selection process happening there, and only the best immune cells survive.

“We found that germinal centers were still going strong 15 weeks after the vaccine’s first dose. We’re still monitoring the germinal centers, and they’re not declining; in some people, they’re still ongoing. This is truly remarkable.”

Authors of the study include Ellebedy, Jackson Turner, PhD, Rachel Presti, MD, PhD, and Jane O’Halloran, MD, PhD, Sharlene Teefey, MD, and William Middleton, MD.

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