Future Vaccines Could Benefit from COVID-19 Immune Response

Future Vaccines Could Benefit from COVID-19 Immune Response
Future Vaccines Could Benefit from COVID-19 Immune Response. Credit | REUTERS

United States – It appears if you have been infected by COVID-19, you have certain protection against those particular strains of the common cold.

This new study shows that prior COVID-19 infections reduce susceptibility to endemics such as the common cold associated with less severe coronavirus variants, which could hold the key to a broader COVID-19 vaccine, as reported by HealthDay.

Research Highlights

“We think there’s going to be a future outbreak of a coronavirus,” said Dr. Manish Sagar, senior author of the study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. “Vaccines potentially could be improved if we could replicate some of the immune responses that are provided by natural infection.”

It included PCR tests taken from over 4,900 individuals who presented some form of symptoms from November 2020 to October 2021. Sagar said that using risk adjustment, he and his colleagues have estimated that people previously infected with COVID-19 are about 50% less likely to have a symptomatic coronavirus-related common cold compared to people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 but never infected.

There are many types of viruses that lead to colds; academic literature suggests that there are coronaviruses behind about five percent of colds on average.

Scientists associated immunity against coronavirus-led colds with the cell’s ability to kill viruses for two proteins of the virus. Although these proteins are not incorporated into most current vaccines, scientists consider the possibility of incorporating them into the future vaccines.

“Our studies would suggest that these may be novel strategies for better vaccines that not only tackle the current coronaviruses, but any potential future one that may emerge,” said Sagar of Boston Medical Center.

Expert Opinions

Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist in Texas who was not engaged in the research, said that the implications should not be considered critical of modern vaccines, as those are designed to tackle the “spike” protein that envelops the outer layer of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, as reported by HealthDay.

He identified these vaccines as “still your best protection against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death”.

Future Vaccine Strategies

But he added: “If we can find targets that cross-protect among multiple viruses, we can either add those to specific vaccines or start to use those as vaccine targets that would give us broader-based immunity from a single vaccination. And that would be really cool.”