Research suggests that too-frequent immunizations may lead to a phenomenon called “immune exhaustion.”
Because COVID-19 is a relatively new virus, researchers still aren’t sure exactly how long vaccines and prior infections provide protection.
Some of the omicron variant’s unique properties – such as its ability to spread rapidly while causing milder COVID-19 infections – could usher in a new phase of the pandemic.
Having a range of immune cells that target different parts of the virus appears to make disease milder and could protect against future variants.
But the immune cells that vaccination spurs do last a long time.
It’s unclear whether the patients were already predisposed to these diseases, or the infection unmasked a process that had already begun. Or perhaps the infection triggered a completely new illness.
People with weakened immune systems are at a high risk of severe and prolonged COVID-19 infections. An extra vaccine dose can bolster protection.
Our study found lower levels of one type of immune cell – which may even be seen years before a person develops the disease.
We mapped the genes of B cells to better understand why some develop immunity and others don’t.
Long-term protection will depend on the ‘memory response’ developed by our immune systems – and the initial signs are promising.
Antibody levels naturally fade – the key question is whether infected people sustain adequate levels of T cells and B cells.
Vaccines work by teaching your immune system about new viruses. Your immune cells are very clever – they will remember what they learnt, and protect you if you encounter that virus in the future.
It’s hard to discuss COVID without referring to white blood cells. Here is a primer on the two you need to know about.
Just focusing on spike proteins might not offer the complete immunity.
Evidence from a new study could help scientists develop drugs to neutralise the ‘allergic antibodies’ that cause anaphylaxis.
The 2018-2019 flu season was less deadly than the last. But the pattern of infection was unusual, thanks to the various strains circulating and the way flu shots work over time.
The cornerstone of our adaptive immune system is the ability to remember the various infections we have encountered. Quite literally, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes your immune system stronger.