Infections and vaccinations have different effects on immunity to corona. Researchers have investigated when people are particularly well protected.
Portland – The corona incidences are rising and rising. Is this the end of the pandemic? A new study by the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland (USA) provides initial insights into this. Researchers led by Fikadu Tafesse have investigated the extent to which vaccinations, infections and breakthrough infections protect against (further) infections. The scientists presented their analysis in the journal Science Immunology.
Accordingly, the researchers examined the immunity of a total of 104 people, most of whom had received an mRNA vaccine from Moderna or Biotech. Only two subjects were vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine. While 31 subjects experienced a breakthrough infection after vaccination, 31 had one or two vaccinations after recovery. 42 vaccinated among the test persons had not previously suffered from corona disease.
Coronavirus infection leads to reduced immunity
The analysis of the blood problems of all study participants showed how well the respective antibodies were able to ward off the alpha, beta and delta variants of the coronavirus. According to the researchers, only short-term and less strong immunity is caused by an infection. Vaccination protects more against serious and fatal courses. But those who have been vaccinated and have recovered are particularly well protected against further infection.
Corona virus: Subsequent vaccination also ensures “super immunity”
The order of vaccination and recovery does not seem to matter in order to enjoy “super immunity”. “It doesn’t matter whether you get infected and then get vaccinated or whether you get vaccinated and then get a breakthrough infection,” quotes the editorial network Germany (RND) Fikadu Tafesse. “In both cases you get a very, very strong immune response – amazingly strong.” Both the amount and the effectiveness of the immune substances are higher in these test subjects.
|just recovered||Short-term, limited vaccination protection|
|Just vaccinated||Comprehensive vaccination protection|
|First recovered, then vaccinated||“Super Immunity”|
|First vaccinated, then recovered||“Super Immunity”|
The authors of the study therefore see every breakthrough infection as a step towards endemic disease. Due to the currently very high incidences and thus also the risk of infection, the group of these people is now likely to grow rapidly.
But the study refers to infections with the alpha, beta and delta variants. These differ greatly from the omicron variant. The results may therefore not be transferrable to the current pandemic and are not suitable as a recommendation for intentional infection with the omicron variant.