TEL AVIV, Israel — A third Covid vaccine generates 10 times more antibodies than the second dose, an Israeli study has found.
Medical experts at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, outside Tel Aviv, compared the antibody levels in staff one week after their third and second doses.
Their findings indicated that the Pfizer vaccine — which Israel is solely relying on for its immunization programmes — produced a tenfold greater immune response.
While the research had a limited study only looked at healthcare staff at one specific hospital, it is hoped that the findings will apply more broadly to the rest of the population.
The hospital said it was treating the results with caution and would be monitoring staff in the coming months to see how long the boost to immunity lasts.
Antibodies are just one part of the overall immune response to Covid, which also includes white blood cells known as T cells that give longer protection.
Israel became the first country in the world to roll out third doses in August, initially inviting over-60s but later gradually opening it up to everyone over the age of 12.
Nearly 3m Israelis have been ‘boosted’ so far and the country but officials in the UK believe younger people are still enjoying very high protection.
Israel had led the way with the original vaccine rollout last December, becoming the fastest country in the world to vaccinate everyone who wanted a jab.
The trail-blazing programme suppressed the virus by summer which allowed it to become one of the first nations to lift all pandemic restrictions.
But cases began to soar over the summer, due to a combination of vaccines waning and the new Delta variant, which infects vaccinated people more easily.
Israel pulled the trigger on a booster vaccine programme in August, which has stabilised the spiralling outbreak.
The country recorded 136 hospital admissions in the week to September 12, down from the peak of 165 in the last week of August.
Weekly hospitalisations had soared from just four in June.
Cases continue to rise but this is believed to be due to a big testing blitz in schools, which went back at the start of the month.
Infections also remain very low among the triple-jabbed, the country’s health ministry said.
Infact, Israel is already planning to administer FOURTH Covid shot
Preparations to administer fourth doses of the coronavirus vaccines are already underway in Israel. According to the country’s national coronavirus czar Salman Zarka said last week that the country needs to prepare for a fourth injection, which could be modified to better protect against new variants of the virus.
‘Given that that the virus is here and will continue to be here, we also need to prepare for a fourth injection,’ he told Kan public radio.
‘This is our life from now on, in waves.’
‘It seems that if we learn the lessons from the fourth wave, we must consider the [possibility of subsequent] waves with the new variants, such as the new one from South America,’ he said at the time.
‘Thinking about this and the waning of the vaccines and the antibodies, it seems every few months — it could be once a year or five or six months — we’ll need another shot.’
He added that he expects Israel to be given out vaccines that had been specially adapted to cope with different variants of the virus by late 2021 or early 2022.
While Israel is seeing record case numbers in its fourth wave, the jabs are still protecting against severe illness with Covid deaths running at about half of the level of its second wave.
SOURCE: DailyMail with minor edits made by TMJ