Covid-19: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca… Immunity varies depending on the booster vaccine used

By with AFP
Posted on 12/03/2021 6:42 AM
Updated 03/12/2021 at 6:43 am

Anti-Covid booster doses cause more or less marked reactions in terms of immunity depending on the vaccine chosen, but most have a remarkable effect, according to a study.

A study conducted in June in the United Kingdom with about 3,000 people, published this Friday in The Lancet, compared many configurations, depending on the vaccine initially injected and the one chosen for the booster dose. The patients studied had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca or Pfizer / BioNTech. After at least two months (for those vaccinated through Pfizer) or three (for those vaccinated with AstraZeneca), they received a third dose.

This could be done again by Pfizer or AstraZeneca, or through CureVac, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen, some not yet approved in the UK or the European Union. Finally, some participants received a placebo. In almost all settings other than placebo, participants generated higher amounts of antibodies to coronavirus. Notable exception, the Pfizer and Valneva chain did not make any noticeable difference.

The limits of the study

“However, there were marked differences in reactions, depending on the vaccine chosen,” the authors note. However, this study has many limitations in drawing conclusions in real life. The third doses were injected very quickly after the initial vaccination. In some cases, there was less time between the second and third doses than between the first two.

Importantly, the study does not measure the actual effectiveness of vaccines against the disease, but only the reactions of the immune system. However, as the authors point out, there is not necessarily a direct link between the level of antibody production and that of the protection actually conferred against severe forms of Covid, particularly after several months.

The study also measured side effects, which are rated “acceptable” in all settings. However, here again, “some configurations were more reactogenic than others.”

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