Your first brush with coronavirus could affect how a fall booster works, In the beginning, when the coronavirus was new, the quest for a vaccine was simple. Everyone started out susceptible to the virus. Shots brought spectacular protection.

Your first brush with coronavirus could affect how a fall booster works

first brush with coronavirus, But the next chapters of life with the virus — and the choice of booster shots for the fall and beyond — will be complicated by the layers of immunity that now ripple through the population, laid down by past infections and vaccinations. When it comes to viral infections, past is prologue: The version of a virus to which we’re first exposed can dictate how we respond to later variants and, maybe, how well vaccines work. It’s a phenomenon known by the forbidding name of original antigenic sin, and, in the case of the coronavirus, it prompts a constellation of questions. Are our immune systems stuck still revving up defenses against a version of the virus that has vanished? Will updated booster shots that are designed to thwart variants be much better than the original vaccine? How often will we be reinfected? Is there a better way to broaden immunity? The answers to those questions will influence our long-term relationship with the coronavirus — and the health of millions of people. But more than two years into the pandemic, the quest to unravel these riddles underscores the seemingly unending complexity of the battle against a new pathogen.

first brush with coronavirus, When the virus emerged, no one had encountered SARS-CoV-2 before, so our immune systems started in pretty much the same vulnerable spot — what scientists call “naive.” Now, people have been infected, vaccinated, boosted, reinfected and boosted again — in varying combinations. People’s immune systems are on slightly different learning curves, depending on when they were infected or vaccinated, and with what variants or vaccines.Scientists are watching in real time as original antigenic sin plays out against the coronavirus — and debating how it will influence future vaccine strategy. Contrary to its biblical thunderclap of a name, the phenomenon is nuanced — more often beneficial or neutral than harmful. It helps explain why vaccines based on the original virus continue to keep people out of the hospital, despite challenging new variants. But it may also mean that revamped fall boosters have limited benefits, because people’s immune memories are dominated by their first experience with the virus. “We may have gotten about as much advantage out of the vaccine, at this point, as we can get,” said Barney Graham, an architect of coronavirus vaccines who now focuses on global health equity at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Graham emphasizes that the vaccines are doing exactly what they were designed to do: keep people out of the hospital. Retuning them will have benefits, albeit limited. “We can tweak it and maybe evolve it to match circulating strains a little better,” Graham said. “It will have a very small, incremental effect.”

Source: This news is originally published by washingtonpost

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