UVA Study: Pfizer covid vaccine offers fewer antibodies overtime compared to Moderna
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A new University of Virginia study finds antibodies in Pfizer’s covid vaccine falls much faster than Moderna’s covid shot over time.
UVA researchers who conducted the study said antibodies are expected to decrease over time but were surprised at how quickly they fell in Pfizer recipients.
Doctor Jeffrey Wilson describes antibodies as the body’s the first line of defense.
“The antibodies recognize specific things on the SARS-CoV-2 virus including the spike protein and having antibodies recognize the spike protein can help protect against infection” Dr. Wilson an immunologist with UVA said.
Wilson was one of 17 researchers who conducted the study.
“We were interested to see the levels that you got to after the vaccine and to see how fast they dropped off. As we show in the paper, we did see at least a subtle difference in how fast that drop off occurred between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” Wilson said.
For 10 months, researchers tracked antibody levels of 234 vaccinated UVA employees. 114 participants had the Pfizer shots and 114 participants had Moderna, while only six had Johnson & Johnson.
After 6 months, researchers found Pfizer recipients had fewer antibodies than Moderna recipients and fewer antibodies than patients with severe covid.
“The antibody levels drop overtime,” Wilson said. “That is not new at all. That always happens and that’s part of healthy immune response,” he added.
Wilson also found fewer antibodies in Pfizer recipients who are 50 and older compared to younger recipients. Wilson said if you have Pfizer’s vaccine not to worry. You’re still protected against covid.
“You get B-cells that can have memory and then you make T-cells and they can have memory. So, even if your antibodies level drop, you can still have a lot of immune cells that can get recruited and fight the infection,” Wilson said.
While initial vaccinations are up in Virginia, Virginia Department of Health officials said there are not as many people getting boosted.
Wilson said booster shots means more antibodies that help prevent severe illness and death.
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