In a recent study by Lucknow's King George Medical College, it has been deciphered that the antibodies developed after vaccination last longer than those formed after infection. Through an antibody test conducted on 989 KGMU healthcare workers and nearly 500 plasma samples, it was found that the vaccination-induced antibodies were more powerful and long-lasting. On the other side, those produced after virus contact, disappeared within four months.
50% of plasma donors with prior infections did not have sufficient antibodies
The breakthrough study has inferred that large-scale vaccination is the road towards herd immunity and it is difficult to achieve the same through widespread infections. The study was performed across a range of employees at the hospital, including class four workers, junior doctors, staff and senior faculty members. 88% or 869 out of 989 total subjects had antibodies and 73% of them were doubly vaccinated while 13% individuals had taken the first dose. Apart from these, the leftover 2% had antibodies that were produced after infection.
It was found that 61 wholly vaccinated individuals and 25 singly inoculated ones did not have sufficient antibodies. Alternatively, only 50% of plasma donors had adequate antibodies. These individuals came for donations 14 to 3 months post-recovery and it has been said that either they did not produce enough antibodies or they must have lost them prematurely. The probable reasons behind this could be low immunity or mild severity of infection.
Repetitive infections during 2nd wave show inefficacy of memory cells
Prof Tulika Chandra, Head of the Transfusion Medicine Department, said, "This shows the probability of developing adequate antibodies that also last for a long period through vaccination, rather than acquiring infection in a natural way. The high percentage of antibodies in this group is a good sign, hinting at herd immunity through vaccination." She further said that memory cells usually store the information to combat a second infection but the second wave had a number of cases of repeated infections. This indicates the fact the memory cells do not function well with coronavirus.
While the results of the small-scale study highlight the importance of vaccination, the authorities are aiming for a sample size of close to 4,000 to get better results. Further, the inoculated healthcare workers will be tested again to determine the life span of the developed antibodies.
- With inputs from IANS