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COVID-19 Q&A: Boosters and the immune system

New evidence is emerging about the extended protection from COVID-19 we get through boosters (it’s not just about antibodies!). University Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bryan Alsip talks about how our complex and mysterious immune system works, harnessing vaccines and boosters to fight future infection threats. He also provides a BA.2 update and a discussion of the latest CDC masking guidelines.

Some of the background supporting this discussion include:

A booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines prompts the body to make a much wider variety of antibodies, giving good protection against even very different COVID-19 variants, according to this recent study.

Another study found that people still have T cell protection against the SARS coronavirus that killed 800 people in 2003, giving us an idea of how long the body may be able to mount some kind of defense against disease.

And another examining B cells shows the vaccines provide greater protection than natural immunity conferred by the virus itself.

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