Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines induce T-cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines induce T-cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers in the United States have shown that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are effective at generating T-cell immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the agent that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The team found that vaccinated individuals developed robust T-cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that the virus uses to bind to and infect host cells. The researchers – from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston – report that the T-cell response increased significantly from baseline after just one vaccine dose. After a second dose, the response was more potent than in a convalescent cohort. However, Marcela Maus and colleagues also found that vaccinated individuals had diminished T-cell responses against the SARS-CoV-2 variants that emerged in the U.K. (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), and Brazil (P1). The team says it will be important to determine how T-cell immunity impacts the aggregate immune response to the variants and whether a reduced T-cell response translates to adverse clinical outcomes. A pre-print version of the research paper is available on the bioRxiv* …
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