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When to get vaccinated after you recovered from COVID-19 infection? 7
So somebody had a clinical COVID-19 infection, checked for antibodies, the antibodies decreased after six months after the infection. From our conversation, they should not necessarily be very concerned that they have no immunity. What we know so far is they probably have a clinical immunity to coronavirus. But, on the other hand, if they take a vaccine, that is not a contraindication. Previous clinical COVID-19 infection should not prevent someone from vaccination, especially as time goes by,
That’s true. So I would say if you are out of the first wave of COVID-19, so the March- April – May patient. Then they can be re-vaccinated and should go for coronavirus re-vaccination in spring 2021. For those out of the second wave of COVID-19, immunity will last longer. The protective effect of the COVID-19 disease will last longer, and maybe the second shot should be given at the beginning of autumn next year.
That’s good that you suggest the timeline as an example because that helps to visualize how immunity relates to the natural infection versus the potential action of the coronavirus vaccine. Because vaccine could generate a stronger immune response with neutralizing antibodies and T cells trained to neutralize the coronavirus virus than the natural coronavirus infection. COVID-19 infection generates the whole wave of antibodies, not all of which are neutralizing antibodies.
Yes, it’s a little bit related to the severity of the disease. In our manuscript, we have demonstrated that if you are ventilated in intensive care and very severely ill, the antibody response is much better. Much more neutralizing antibodies form than in patients with mild to moderate disease. So it’s related to the disease severity.
Do you think we can infer from antibody level data the difference in the T cell response? T cell protection might differ between people who had a severe clinical course of COVID-19 versus people who had mild or symptomatic coronavirus infection.
Yeah, that’s not so easy to say. So for neutralizing coronavirus antibodies themselves, a typical finding is the more contact with the COVID-19 virus you had, the more antibody response is measurable. For T cells, this could be different. In an even mild COVID-19 disease in our follow up measurements, we find a very good T cell response. So cellular immunity is not so much dependent on viral load and disease severity.
So that’s a very interesting point because it relates to the potential long term protection from COVID-19, which is T cell immunity driven. So people with mild coronavirus infection might have a robust T cell-based protection, a longer-term immunity against coronavirus.
Well, altogether, if you look worldwide, and the pandemic started In February, March, so there are very few second COVID-19 infections. This is a signal that the long term immunity is not so bad. For most of those patients with second repeat coronavirus infections, there is a different type of coronavirus. Or these are older people with a less functional immune system. So that’s a senescence of the immune system. And this makes it more important for these patients, as I said before, to be vaccinated against coronavirus after a given time. It’s very important. Thank you very much for underscoring this point.
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