BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PFIZER AND VACCINES ASTRAZENECA
Ghent, September 15, 2021 – Researchers from UZ Gent and VIB (Flemish Institute of Biotechnology) studied the production of COVID-19 antibodies in the nose. 78.3% of study participants accumulated antibodies at this site after their vaccination. These antibodies present in the nose can have a major deterrent effect on infection and spread.
Antibodies as protection against COVID-19
“Coronavirus enters our body through the upper respiratory tract,” explains Dr. Philippe Gevaert, a specialist in the nose, throat and ears. “Neutralizing antibodies in our blood make the virus harmless by blocking the binding of spike proteins to human cells. If antibodies are also present in the nose, they can already form the first barrier there against virus entry. Therefore, it is important to also study the response to infection and the nasal vaccine. ”
Most of the antibodies in the nose after vaccination with Pfizer
Blood and nose were tested twice in 46 study participants: just before the first vaccination with Pfizer or AstraZeneca and 13 to 40 days after the second vaccination. 23 participants had an infection before their vaccination. Just before their first vaccination, only 17.4% of them had antibodies in their noses. After full vaccination, 78.3% of all participants accumulated antibodies in the nose.
Participants who received Pfizer showed more antibodies (96%) than participants who received AstraZeneca (59%). In addition, local antibodies in Pfizer showed stronger neutralization of the highest viral protein than in AstraZeneca. Previous COVID-19 infection did not influence the results. The blood test showed the same amount of antibodies in both vaccine groups.
Continuation of the study
It is not yet clear why some vaccines generate antibodies in the nose more often than others. “The explanation may be due to a different timeout between the two doses or to a different effect of the vaccines,” suspects Dr. Linos Vandekerckhove, a specialist in infectious diseases. “In a follow-up study, we will plan the next course of the antibody response in the blood and nose. We hope to get more clarity this way. “