Covid lifeline as fully vaccinated tipped for ‘super immunity’ against future variants

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A research team from the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) collected blood samples from 52 people who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer shot to test how strong their protection against the virus was. Dr Marcel Curlin who led the study, said: “The key is to get vaccinated. You’ve got to have a foundation of protection.”
 The team found that 26, the control group, did not have breakthrough infections, while the remaining 26 people did have mild cases of the virus after getting jabbed.

That included 10 participants with the Delta variant, nine who did not have the Delta variant and seven who had unknown variants.

Live coronavirus was exposed to blood from study participants in lab tests so that the researchers could analyse the immune responses.

The blood from those who had breakthrough infections was shown to have more antibodies than the control group, and those antibodies were far better at neutralising the live virus, according to the study.

And the antibodies in people with breakthrough infections were even up to 1000 percent more effective than antibodies formed two weeks after getting a second Pfizer shot.

The researchers said that the results of the study suggest that the immune response triggered by a breakthrough infection is likely to be “very effective” at providing protection against current variants like Omicron, as well as future mutations of coronavirus.

The OHSU news release said: “The immune response is likely to be highly effective against other variants as the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate.

Senior study author Fikadu Tafesse, from OHSU, said: “Our study suggests that individuals who are vaccinated and then exposed to a breakthrough infection have super immunity.”

Having already boasted “a robust immune response against the delta variant”, according to the study, future variants may be hard-pressed to infect people with super immunity.

Dr Curlin said this could prove a major step forward in helping the world to take control of the pandemic.

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He said: “I think this speaks to an eventual endgame.

“It doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it points to 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.

“Our study implies that the long-term outcome is going to be a tapering-off of the severity of the worldwide epidemic.”

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