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Antibodies triggered by Sinopharm COVID-19 booster wane after 6 months: Study

Antibodies triggered by Sinopharm COVID-19 booster wane after 6 months: Study

A Sinopharm sign is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, Sep 5, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Tingshu Wang)

BEIJING: Antibodies triggered by a third dose of Sinopharm's COVID-19 shot given to those who completed its primary two-dose regimen dropped sharply after six months, and a fourth shot did not significantly boost them against Omicron, a Chinese study showed.

The study, published on Monday (Feb 21) before peer review, said repeated immunisation using inactivated vaccines such as the Sinopharm shot as a fourth booster may not be ideal to further increase antibody response against Omicron.

Certain protein-based vaccines or mRNA vaccines based on the genetic information of variants of concern could be a good alternative for further boost instead, according to the paper.

It remained unclear how the antibody readings may affect the three- or four-dose vaccine's effectiveness in lowering risk of Omicron-caused COVID-19 disease or death.

The study showed that neutralising antibody level dropped by 53 per cent against Omicron around 26 weeks after the third dose of Sinopharm's BBIBP-CorV, versus levels seen two weeks after the third dose, researchers said.

The booster shot was given to 38 healthcare workers in China who had completed the two-dose regimen of the vaccine five months earlier.

The study said a fourth dose, given six months after the third, did not significantly lift the neutralising antibody level against Omicron, although it still recalled the level to around the peak after a third dose.

The study, conducted by researchers at a hospital affiliated with Sun Yat-sen University, did not include readings among older people or minors. It did not study the fourth dose's impact on cellular immune response, which is a different part of the human immune system than the antibody-based response.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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