COVID-19 vaccines demonstrate immune effects…IBS “Responding to Mutations”
A domestic study found that three doses of the novel coronavirus infection disease (COVID-19) vaccine not only have omicron mutations but also have the effect of preventing early coronavirus. Through this, it is possible to check the duration of the immune effect of neutralizing antibodies generated by COVID-19 infection or vaccination and the responsiveness to mutated viruses.
The Institute of Basic Science (IBS) announced on the 19th that a joint research team of Choi Young-ki, head of the Korea Institute of Virus Basic Research, and Shin Eui-cheol, head of the Center for Virus Immunization, compared and analyzed the blood of those who were not vaccinated with COVID-19 and found their neutralizing antibodies, immune effects, and memory T-cell responses.
Amid the global dominance of coronavirus mutations, cases of breakthrough infection by new mutations such as omicron continue even after the COVID-19 vaccination. However, questions remained as to whether the breakthrough infection was caused by a decrease in neutralizing antibodies formed by existing vaccines or whether there was no protective effect on new mutations.
In addition, there is no known correlation with the duration of efficacy according to the number of COVID-19 vaccinations. There was also no study on whether the vaccine currently used to respond to the early coronavirus epidemic could respond to various recent mutations.
The research team compared and analyzed neutralizing antibodies in the serum of patients who recovered after being infected with the COVID-19 initial type, D614G variant, and Omicron variant viruses, respectively, and those who were infected with Omicron after two or three COVID-19 vaccines. In the case of vaccinated patients, serum at the first, third, and fifth months after vaccination was continuously analyzed to track the duration of the vaccine effect and the characteristics of neutralizing antibodies.
As a result of the study, it was confirmed that various coronavirus mutations induce different immunogenicity. This means that neutralizing antibodies produced by unvaccinated people infected with the early epidemic virus strain cannot prevent infection of the omicron strain, and on the contrary, neutralizing antibodies formed in people infected with the omicron strain cannot prevent any other known coronavirus mutation infection.
The effect of neutralizing antibodies according to the number of vaccinations lasted longer in those who were vaccinated three times compared to those who were vaccinated two times. The neutralizing antibodies produced through two vaccinations of the COVID-19 vaccine were lost within five months, but the effect of the neutralizing antibodies produced by three vaccinations remained for more than five months. In addition, it confirmed the protective effect on more diverse coronavirus mutations in those who have been vaccinated three times.
Choi Young-ki, head of the center, said, “This study is meaningful that we analyzed the actual cross-immune response to mutants not only in the early stages of COVID-19 but also various mutant viruses,” adding, “It suggests that we can generate neutralizing antibodies for new coronavirus mutations through more than three booster vaccines.”
Shin Eui-cheol, head of the center, said, “After three vaccinations, we confirmed that the omicron breakthrough infection strongly raises the memory T-cell antiviral response to the early Wuhan virus and new mutations,” adding, “Even if the omicron breakthrough infection recovers, symptoms will be mild.”