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mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may offer protection for years

coronavirus credit NIAID

New research shows that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines might offer protection for a longer time than previously thought.

Protection could potentially last for years shows the new study by Turner et al., “SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines induce persistent human germinal centre responses”, published in Nature.

Germinal centers in the lymph nodes

The study focused on B cells found in the germinal center (GC) in lymph nodes of people who had received the vaccines. Researchers found a high level of activity among the B cells and antibody-secreting plasmablasts for at least 12 weeks after the second dose of the vaccine.

“Our studies demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination of humans induces a persistent GC B cell response, enabling the generation of robust humoral immunity,” the authors state in the article.

No need for booster shots?

This finding could affect the timeline for booster shots. Researchers acknowledge more study is needed to track the production of antibodies.

Photo: This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (gray) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Credit: NIAID