Sunday , October 17 2021

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gives immunity for at least 3 months

The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is given in two injections over 28 days.

WASHINGTON – The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which the company says has recently been shown to be 94% effective, causes the human immune system to produce powerful antibodies that last at least three months, a study found Thursday.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who developed the drug, studied the immune response of 34 adult participants, young and old, in the first phase of a clinical trial.

Writing in New England Journal of Medicine, they said that the antibodies that stop the SARS-KOV-2 virus from invading human cells “decreased slightly over time, as expected, but they remained elevated in all participants for 3 months after booster vaccination”.

The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is given in two injections over 28 days.

Although the number of antibodies in the subjects has disappeared over time, this does not have to be a cause for concern.

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and other experts say it is very likely that the immune system will remember the virus if it is exposed later and then produce new antibodies.

Encouragingly, the study showed that the vaccine activates certain types of immune cells that should aid in the so-called memory response, but only a long-term study will confirm whether this is indeed the case.

“The positives of the study include evidence that a relatively strong antibody response remains 90 days after the second dose of the vaccine,” said Benjamin Neumann, a virologist at the University of Texas A&M M-Texas.

“The amount of antibodies produced by the vaccine was higher in younger patients than in older patients, but reasonably strong immune responses were still observed even in patients up to 70 years of age.”

The Moderna vaccine will be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee on December 17, and may soon be given the green light for immediate approval.

Like another vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, it is based on a new technology that uses genetic material in the form of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid).

MRNA is wrapped in a lipid molecule and injected into the arm, where it causes cells in our muscles to build a surface protein of the coronavirus.

This tricks the immune system into believing that it is infected with a germ and trains it to make the right kind of antibodies when it comes to the right virus.

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