New COVID-19 vaccine strengthens your protection against mutations

Updated COVID-19 vaccines aim to strengthen your immunity against new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The monovalent XBB.1.5-adapted booster targets the XBB.1.5 variant with global dominance 2024. But new highly mutated variants has raised concerns about its effectiveness.

This research is a component of the COMMUNITY study, funded by the National SciLifeLab-KAW COVID-19 Research Program.

Recent findings from the COMMUNITY study involved 24 healthcare workers vaccinated with the new XBB.1.5-adapted booster. The results were promising. Participants showed a big increase in antibodies against different SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the highly mutated BA.2.86. Within two weeks after vaccination, antibody levels increased over tenfold.

“It’s assuring to see that the new updated vaccine induces such a broad antibody response. Earlier updates have targeted both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and Omicron and these have primarily recalled immune responses against the original virus. With the new vaccine. Targeting only the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant, we see a significantly larger increase in antibodies targeting Omicron. Including more mutated Omicron variants that have emerged after the XBB.1.5 variant. This likely confers cross-protection against the newer variants. And supports the recommendation of booster doses for older and immunocompromised people,” says Charlotte Thålin, docent at Karolinska Institutet, the Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, and principal investigator of the COMMUNITY study.

Providing stronger protection against new SARS-CoV-2 mutations

All in all, antibody levels against all tested Omicron variants significantly increased after XBB.1.5 vaccination. Closing the gap between wild type and Omicron.

In conclusion, the new XBB.1.5-adapted booster shifts antibody responses toward various Omicron variants. This suggests stronger vaccine-induced protection against newer and mutated SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Ongoing research is crucial for adjusting COVID-19 vaccination strategies.

This study was supported by grants from the Jonas and Christina at Jochnick Foundation, Region Stockholm, SciLifeLab, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Leif Lundblad Family Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Center for Innovative Medicine.


Last updated: 2024-04-24

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