Imagine a walk on the street. You may happen to meet people you know and others you have never seen, but whose memory you remember because you may have listened to them on TV or seen their faces in the newspaper. In the world of antibodies against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, something similar happens. There are obviously viruses that have never been encountered and therefore are off the radar. But more often our invisible “defenders” learn about specific components of the virus either through natural infection or through vaccination.
The calls against the strain responsible for Covid-19 they serve precisely to “rekindle” this attention on the part of the defensive system which, therefore, manages to react efficiently to any contact of the organism with the virus. In this period it is developing more and more a “hybrid” immunity, because it is the daughter of a combination of protection induced by the vaccine and natural infection. And it is in this phase that the new bivalent vaccine.
It contains antibodies targeted both towards the original virus, that of Wuhan to be clear, and towards the Omicron 2 variant from which, with subsequent mutations, Omicron 4 (BA.4), 5 (BA.5) and Centaurus were then developed. BA.5 is currently dominant. What can change with the new mRNA vaccine, while in the US a vaccine is already being proposed that should also offer specific protection against Omicron 4 and 5?
A bespoke booster
The Technical Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health thus explains the choice to propose, in the coming days, the new bivalent vaccines for boosters. “They have shown the ability to induce a major antibody response than that of the original monovalent vaccine against both the Omicron BA.1 variant and the BA.4 and BA.5 variants ″. In short, for the booster dose, be it the third or the fourth, the possibility is about to focus on a double “signaling” of vaccination for the immune system, with the consequent production of specific antibodies. Obviously, at the start, the bivalent vaccines will be proposed as a priority to those who risk more in case of sars-CoV-2 infection, i.e. people with frailty and over-60s. It should also be said that, in terms of safety, the data available to date do not indicate specific differences compared to the original RNA-Messenger vaccine.
How to book the bivalent vaccination and where to do it
In general terms, a few days before the official start of the administration in the different regions, there should be the possibility to always book through the IT platforms prepared. The vaccine has characteristics and methods of storage – it must be stored at very low temperatures – which make it necessary to administer it in facilities that allow it to comply with this need. Compared to early mRNA vaccines, so there should be this difference.
Also in this case, and also for the possible fourth recall, having contracted the infection in the summer period represents an element that must make people wait for vaccination. In general, before administering the bivalent vaccine, it is better to allow four months to pass after the infection or in any case from the previous vaccination. What is certain is that with this and with future continent vaccines “information” capable of soliciting a specific antibody response against Omicron strains there will be an improvement in vaccination protection.
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