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COVID-19 booster encouraged in OSU study




A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card. Photo from the U.S. Department of Defense.

A recent study by researchers at the Ohio State University encouraged a second COVID-19 booster, especially because of recent developments in antibody studies.

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a booster shot “completely restored antibodies to protective levels” in adults in the study who saw a “dramatic loss in antibodies” since their first booster.

Virology professor Shan-Lu Liu said it was unsurprising to find “antibody decline” over time, but that the study showed clear results in those receiving a second booster.

“If you have a dramatic loss of antibodies from the first booster, you definitely need a second booster to get antibodies back,” Liu said in a statement explaining the study.

The research included tests from 46 health care professionals who had received a two-dose version of the COVID-19 vaccine and one booster dose. Their antibody levels were tested one to nine months after the first booster, against the “parent” COVID-19 virus and the omicron variants.

The OSU study said antibody levels were 1.7 times higher in the first three months after the first booster. Seven to nine months after the shot, antibody levels dropped an estimated 50%, according to the study.

Those that contracted COVID-19 after a booster shot “got a small antibody benefit” from having had the infection, but “overall, there was not much of a difference in the rate of (antibody) decline across variants,” according to John Evans, a Ph.D candidate who worked with Liu.

The FDA approved the Moderna and Pfizer booster vaccines: Moderna for individuals 18 and older, and Pfizer for those 12 years and older.

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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