In a panel discussion by The Straits Times, Duke-NUS Medical School’s Ooi Eng Eong said that “we would be a lot more resilient if we have a vaccination and an asymptomatic infection.” Apparently, getting infected could protect vaccinated individuals against any coronavirus variants that might soon emerge. The Singaporean news outlet called it the “best protection against future variants.”
The current vaccines make our body recognize the spike proteins on the surface of the virus. However, they still need to adjust to the evolution of the coronavirus. One way that our body can recognize all parts of the virus, on the other hand, is by being infected. According to the professor, the core of the coronavirus cannot change, which makes it effective against any mutation.
Both vaccination and acquiring the virus produce antibodies. National Centre for Infectious Diseases Executive Director Professor Leo Yee Sin also weighed in saying that the higher the antibody level, the better the protection. Although they also pointed out that antibodies do not remain high permanently.
“The immune system does not sustain antibodies at a high level when it doesn’t need it but the memory of how to make those antibodies remains,” Professor Ooi added. “When you see the virus again, it will recall this memory and it will mount an immune response. But that memory recall takes a few days, and so it becomes a race between the immune system and Delta.”
Watch The Straits Times’ “Endemic Covid-19: When and How?” panel discussion below:
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