Can we get 'super immunity' during this Covid-19 wave?
A study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association brings some hope amid the massive wave of cases of the Omicron variant in many countries. The research supports the idea that 'super immunity' is possible.
Researchers of the Oregon Health & Science University argue that vaccinated individuals who get infected with a new variant might develop a strengthened immune response that could be defined as 'super immunity.'
The study suggests that antibodies produced as a result of inflection are much higher in vaccinated people. Our body builds up against a new threat and achieves a better defense.
The study was conducted with a small sample of only 52 people. More research is needed before getting one's hopes up.
Dr. Fikadu Tafesse, one of the researchers of the Oregon Health & Science University, affirms that "you can't get a better immune response than this."
It's all conjecture at the moment, but if this study is on the right track, the end of the pandemic could be on the horizon. Massive vaccination, along with infections, could turn Covid-19 into something no different from the flu.
Still, getting infected on purpose to get this 'super immunity' is a bad idea! First, because this is a very early study that needs to be checked, but also because no Covid-19 infection is 'harmless.' Not even when you're fully vaccinated.
Despite science working around the clock on Covid-19, such as developing the vaccines on record time, there are still many questions left about the disease. For instance, why some people get seriously ill without any clear explanation.
What the Oregon Health & Science University points out, just as many others, is that vaccination is the key. The results showed that vaccination plus infection is equal to a powerful immune response. The vaccine, even when it's not the full dose, can help avoid a serious disease.
It should be pointed out that this research was done before the outbreak of the Omicron variant. However, the team behind the study assures that the body always reacts the same, regardless of the virus variant. In other words, their results also work on vaccinated people infected by Omicron.
Nonetheless, in these moments of uncertainty, it is important to remain calm and avoid being driven by sudden optimism.
The massive wave of cases of the Omicron variant in the United States and Europe, although not as deadly, is having concerning effects on the economy. Bankruptcies, production problems, health services on the brink of collapse, and other problems are on the horizon.
The end of the pandemic won't be quick or easy. One has to take into consideration how in less developing countries the vaccination rates tend to be lower, allowing new variants to mutate. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has an estimation of when this could be over.
Pfizer posits that Covid-19 might become an endemic condition, unable to grind the world to a halt, by 2024.
The only thing left at the moment is to vaccinate as many people as possible. Children too. Their immunization, scientists agree, is safe and efficient.
The most common and optimistic of theories is that Covid-19 will diminish in time. It's a common biological rule, though nothing is certain until there's more investigation on the subject.
We have to remain attentive while dealing with Covid-19, but also try to keep a positive attitude. Pandemic-related mental health problems have increased, and good news is always welcome. The chance of 'super-immunity' is a reminder that there's an end to this worldwide crisis.