Sunday, 18 September 2022

Antivaxx Covidiot News - Another Good Reason to Get Vaccinated

Una de cada tres personas infectadas con COVID-19 y que no se vacunaron ya no tiene anticuerpos detectables un año después de la infección COVID-19: [One in three infected but unvaccinated persons no longer have detectable antibodies one year after the infection] - News - ISGLOBAL
COVID Vaccination centre, Spain
I've just booked my fifth, COVID-19 vaccination (my third booster) and with reasonable precautions like hand cleansing, social distancing, and avoiding crowded places, I've managed to stay clear of infection so far. At the start of the pandemic, I had four high risk factors - over weight, very high blood pressure, slightly raised cholesterol level and age - and might well have struggled to survive infection. Since then, I've lost 3 stone to get a safe BMI, and got my BP down to within a normal range and now have a normal cholesterol level. Alas, I can't do anything about the third factor, but I can keep my antibody count up.

My last booster was in March this year, so I would be interested to know what level of protection I now have because, as this study shows, the antibody level falls over time, particularly for people like me who have stayed infection free, so that for 36% of people who were vaccinated but never got infected, their antibody level is undetectable after a year! This means, if I wait till Spring, I'll go through most of the coming Winter with a low antibody count.

If any more evidence were needed that vaccination against COVI-19 is essential, even for people who have had the disease and acquired some natural protection, this study, by an international team led by Marianna Karachaliou, Gemma Moncunill, Manolis Kogevinas and Carlota Dobaño and colleagues provides it. The main findings, published open access in MBC Medicine, include:
  1. In 36% of infected but unvaccinated persons, antibodies were no longer detectable almost a year after the infection, particularly in those older than 60 years and smokers.
  2. Vaccination induced significantly higher antibody levels in people who had a prior infection, as compared to those without prior infection; and that these levels were strongly associated with the magnitude of the response during the infection.

    Our data underscore the importance of vaccinating people even if they have been previously infected, and confirm that hybrid immunity is superior and more durable. This means that people who have been vaccinated but have not been infected would need a booster earlier than those who have.

    Marianna Karachaliou, co-first author
    Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)
    Barcelona, Spain.
  3. The factor most strongly associated with the level of antibodies is the type of vaccine - Moderna's Spikevax generated the highest levels of antibodies. Other factors also appear to play a role: people older than 60 or with mental illness had lower antibody levels post-vaccination.

    The association between mental health and antibody responses requires further investigation, but it is known that people with disorders such as depression, chronic stress or schizophrenia have a lower response to vaccination in general,

    Carlota Dobaño, co-first author
    Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)
    Barcelona, Spain.
According to the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) press release, they reached these conclusions after:
[They] performed a second measurement in a population-based cohort from Catalonia COVICAT-GCAT (GCAT | Genomes for Life Project) six months after the start of the vaccination campaign (the first one was just after the first confinement), to monitor the level and type of antibodies against five viral antigens (the whole Spike (S) protein, the RBD receptor binding domain, the S2 fragment, the full Nucleocapsid (N) protein, or the N-terminal fragment). They also used information from a questionnaire and health records to identify potential factors that determine the magnitude and duration of the antibody response in unvaccinated, vaccinated, or vaccinated and infected persons. A total of 1,076 people, aged 43 to 72 years, were included in the analysis.
In the abstract to their published results, the scientists say:

Heterogeneity of the population in relation to infection, COVID-19 vaccination, and host characteristics is likely reflected in the underlying SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses.

We measured IgM, IgA, and IgG levels against SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid antigens in 1076 adults of a cohort study in Catalonia between June and November 2020 and a second time between May and July 2021. Questionnaire data and electronic health records on vaccination and COVID-19 testing were available in both periods. Data on several lifestyle, health-related, and sociodemographic characteristics were also available.

Antibody seroreversion occurred in 35.8% of the 64 participants non-vaccinated and infected almost a year ago and was related to asymptomatic infection, age above 60 years, and smoking. Moreover, the analysis on kinetics revealed that among all responses, IgG RBD, IgA RBD, and IgG S2 decreased less within 1 year after infection. Among vaccinated, 2.1% did not present antibodies at the time of testing and approximately 1% had breakthrough infections post-vaccination. In the post-vaccination era, IgM responses and those against nucleoprotein were much less prevalent. In previously infected individuals, vaccination boosted the immune response and there was a slight but statistically significant increase in responses after a 2nd compared to the 1st dose. Infected vaccinated participants had superior antibody levels across time compared to naïve-vaccinated people. mRNA vaccines and, particularly the Spikevax, induced higher antibodies after 1st and 2nd doses compared to Vaxzevria or Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. In multivariable regression analyses, antibody responses after vaccination were predicted by the type of vaccine, infection age, sex, smoking, and mental and cardiovascular diseases.

Our data support that infected people would benefit from vaccination. Results also indicate that hybrid immunity results in superior antibody responses and infection-naïve people would need a booster dose earlier than previously infected people. Mental diseases are associated with less efficient responses to vaccination. [My emphasis]

So, if you're vaccinated and have still contracted COVID-19 you do better than just by being vaccinated, but in either case, a booster vaccine at least annually, or more often, is essential to keep your antibodies and your protection against serious illness up. Of course, if you've been covidiot enough to fall for the antivaxx disinformation and haven't been vaccinated at all, you only have yourself to blame when you become seriously ill. And you'll be to blame for the infections you're more likely to pass on to your friends and family and the wider community

Hopefully, my next booster should see me through this winter and into Spring. It's well worth the slightly sore arm for a day or two, which is all I've ever experienced before.

Thank you for sharing!

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