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COVID-19 booster shots might offer better protection than the first two shots, study says

The COVID-19 booster shots might increase antibodies and offer better protection

A box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.
An employee carries a box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. But a small new study suggests that protection against COVID-19 may last longer after the COVID-19 booster shot than after the original two-dose regimen.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration both approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all Americans late last week, hoping the vaccine will offer protection against the coronavirus.

But a small new study suggests that protection against COVID-19 may last longer after the COVID-19 booster shot than after the original two-dose regimen.

Do COVID-19 boosters offer better protection?

Per Reuters, the new study revealed vaccine responses in 33 participants before and after their vaccine booster shots.

  • Before the boosters, the participants had a 10-fold decrease in antibodies after their second shot of the vaccine.
  • About 6-10 days after the booster shot, their antibody levels climbed 25-fold and were five times higher than after the first two doses of the vaccine, per Reuters.

This could mean the booster shot might offer better protection than the original round of shots.

  • “Because these antibody levels are so robust, the booster could potentially give us protection for a longer duration than what we saw for two doses of the vaccine,” study coauthor Alexis Demonbreun of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a statement, according to Kaiser Health News.

The study has been published on medRxiv. It has not been peer-reviewed.

When does the booster shot start to work?

Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told ABC News that the booster shot isn’t immediately effective. It might take some time to work.

  • “There is a meaningful increase in antibody titers by one week and peak responses at two weeks following mRNA boosting,” Barouch said.