A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports carefully studied the effects of lab-produced COVID-19 vaccines versus having natural immunity against coronaviruses using “a series of in vitro assays to determine the number of antibodies produced by the vaccine and natural immunity, and whether this correlates to how much of the virus is neutralized.”
The study involved 41 serum samples collected from 33 donors, all of whom had a documented history of COVID-19 infection. Their samples were compared with those of 28 other donors who had all received either Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine. According to the study’s results, the vaccinated group had a 16.8-fold increase in neutralizing coronavirus antibodies compared to the natural immunity group and a full 30.1-fold increase over those who were newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients.
In a follow-up experiment, the researchers discovered that the increase in antibodies translated to similar improvements in virus neutralization, meaning that vaccinated people have more antibodies and therefore better neutralization of COVID-19 when they encounter it. When put against a different variant of the virus, the vaccinated samples’ antibodies continued to prove “far more effective at neutralizing it compared to natural immunity-induced antibodies.
Meanwhile, scientists are warning that the next variant of SARS-CoV-2 could be potentially more lethal than the latest Omicron strain.
Professor Mark Woolhouse from Edinburgh University said that the source of the next variant is unknown, and added that the current most common variant Omicron did not evolve directly from the previous variant, Delta.
Omicron “came from a completely different part of the virus’s family tree. And since we don’t know where in the virus’s family tree a new variant is going to come from, we cannot know how pathogenic it might be. It could be less pathogenic but it could, just as easily, be more pathogenic,” said Woolhouse.
Woolhouse’s opinion was echoed by Professor Lawrence Young from Warwick University.
“People seem to think there has been a linear evolution of the virus from Alpha to Beta to Delta to Omicron… but that is simply not the case.” He added that there are no promises that later variants of the virus might be either more or less pathogenic.
These scientists’ opinion arrives days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s been front and center of the COVID-19 response of the U.S. since Jan 2020, said that the days of leaving face masks behind is coming “soon.”
Fauci said in a recent interview that the “full-blown pandemic phase” was nearly over and that decisions about how to avoid and prevent infection would ” increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated.”
“I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the Covid restrictions will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.
Author: Craig Anderson