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The Epoch TimesVaccinated People Are Immune Imprinted, Have Unusual Response to COVID-19 mRNA Boosters

Immune Imprinting and COVID-19 Vaccines: Unpacking the Persistent Response to Original Variants

In a recent study by the University of Washington, researchers explored the phenomenon of immune imprinting among individuals who have received multiple doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The findings reveal a strong imprinting effect, where vaccinated individuals continue to produce antibodies primarily targeting the original COVID-19 variant, even when exposed to new variants or boosters designed for these newer strains. This research underscores the complexity of immune responses and raises important considerations for future vaccine strategies.

Key Points:

  • Immune imprinting is observed in individuals with multiple doses of the original COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, showing a predominant immune memory to the original virus.
  • Recipients of the COVID-19 XBB.1.5 mRNA booster exhibited limited production of antibodies specific to the XBB.1.5 variant, largely producing antibodies against the original variant.
  • The study involved more than 20 participants, most of whom had received three or more doses of the original mRNA vaccines and had previous COVID-19 infections.
  • Antibodies generated post-XBB.1.5 booster were most effective against the original Wuhan variant, followed by the BA.2.86 omicron variant, and least effective against XBB.1.5.
  • Some individuals developed new immune cells that recognized only XBB.1.5, indicating a potential for the immune system to adapt to new variants.
  • Two hypotheses were proposed to explain the strong immune imprinting: high exposure to the original virus through vaccinations and infections in Seattle, and the possibility that mRNA vaccines induce a more robust imprinting effect than other vaccines.

“Immune imprinting persists after multiple exposures to Omicron spikes through vaccination and infection, including post XBB.1.5 booster vaccination, which will need to be considered to guide future vaccination.”
– University of Washington researchers

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