COVID-19 booster vaccine triggers immune response in days, not weeks, scientists say

pharmafile | December 17, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

COVID-19 booster jabs trigger an immune response in a matter of days, rather than weeks, scientists have shared. Data suggests that the effects of the third jab begin within just two to three days, a much faster response than the two weeks which the immune system takes to mount to fight the virus, following first vaccination dose. 

Booster vaccines have also been shown to restore the body’s immunological defences against Omicron, which evidence shows is capable of infecting those who are already double-vaccinated.

Gary McLean, professor in molecular immunology at London Metropolitan University, has shared that the immunity generated after a booster jab “will rise much quicker” in comparison to the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. This faster response is because memory cells, activated after the first dose, are still present in the body. Professor McLean shared that as a result, these cells “do not require the two-week activation and instruction phase they initially go through”.

Professor Charles Bangham, an immunologist and co-director of the institute of infection at Imperial College London, shared that in a secondary or subsequent immune response, T cells and antibodies should begin to be detectable within “two to three days” of a booster vaccination.

T cells are responsible for locating infected cells, and producing antibodies to stop the virus from gaining entry, stopping virus spread. Early analysis from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that a third dose prevents around 75% of individuals from exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. While this has since been revised down to 70%, a third jab is thought to offer even higher protection from hospitalisation and death, and more effective protection against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Ana Ovey

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