According to the latest research, twenty separate COVID-19 variants were efficiently detected and neutralized following a third booster, for which the University of Surrey supplied the critical antigenic map of variations of concern.

While the study’s findings revealed that immunity declines 20 weeks after vaccination, a third booster (of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in this instance) assisted the immune system in identifying and neutralizing the 20 distinct variations.

The antigenic map enabled the researchers to detect and quantify how each mutation affected the immune system.

According to Dr. Daniel Horton with Science Daily, co-author of the research and Reader in Veterinary Virology at the University of Surrey:

“The emergence of this disease and its disruptive and deadly impact on our day-to-day lives demonstrates how crucial it is for the scientific community to work together to identify and characterise infectious diseases quickly.

“The University of Surrey’s contribution to this study through the mapping of the various variants is itself part of a landmark €90 million collaborative effort to tackle zoonotic diseases in Europe, reflecting our focus on understanding the inextricable links between the health of animals, humans and, indeed, the planet we all share.”

The Pirbright Institute collaborated with experts from the University of Surrey, Imperial College in London, and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on this research to better understand the immunological response of people aged 70 to 89 who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

This vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to produce Y-shaped proteins known as antibodies that can bind to the coronavirus’s spike proteins on the surface. When a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the antibodies bind the spike proteins, preventing the virus from adhering to and entering the human cell and thereby protecting against severe sickness. Antibodies also serve as a beacon, alerting the immune system to assist in fighting the infection.

Source: Science Daily

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