As the world awaits the COVID-19 vaccine, the Oxford and AstraZeneca trials had to be halted due to an unexpected illness of one volunteer. The researchers are unsure whether it was a because of their candidate vaccine, but it does say something: our immune systems are different from each other.
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Our immune system would respond uniquely to the vaccine.
Phase 3 clinical trials are starting for some of the front-runners in the COVID-19 vaccine research, but why do they have to undergo these trials?
During the third phase, pharmaceutical companies test their vaccine candidate on thousands of people in various places around the world. This is important because researchers can acquire enough data to determine whether their vaccine is safe.
Moreover, experts can also find out whether the vaccine works on different people of all ages and with a variety of health issues.
With that, here are five ways our immune systems would uniquely respond to the COVID-19 vaccine, which would help provide immunity against SARS-CoV-2, according to The Conversation.
Vaccine type and delivery
Currently, 180 vaccine candidates are being tested around the world, and most of them contain parts of the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, the way these proteins are delivered could vary, and some methods work better than others.
Moreover, some vaccines will be delivered as a nasal spray compared to being injected, which is the norm. According to the news outlet, this could provide a more effective immune response to the virus in the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nostrils, throat, and mouth.
As we age, our immune system also changes. For example, children's immune system is still developing, so their responses to various foreign bodies are different from adults.
With that, some COVID-19 vaccines may work better on children or will be recommended for them.
Meanwhile, adults tend to have a different immunity response. For one, older people are less likely to develop more antibodies compared to younger ones, so that could mean we may not be able to develop long-lasting immunity.
Our genes could play a massive role in regulating our immune system and how it would respond to a vaccine.
This is already discovered with the flu vaccine. In a research paper published in The Journal of Immunology, researchers found a difference in the immune response of men and women to the flu vaccine. Genes partly govern sex differences.
Moreover, people who have immune deficiencies inherited from their parents may also react differently to the vaccine.
The vaccine also works differently for people with a healthy lifestyle compared to those who frequently smoke and drink.
Some researchers also believe that gut microbes could influence how our immune system would respond to the vaccine. That means as much as possible, people should have a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Our previous health issues could play a part in how our body will react to the vaccine, especially if you've been previously exposed to cold-causing coronaviruses, which are related to SARS-CoV-2. According to the report, those who have been exposed may have a higher chance of having a faster response to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nevertheless, some may have problems accepting the vaccine, especially those that use adenovirus. Instead of mounting to the spike protein, their body might mount to the wrong part of the vaccine, which the delivery mechanism.
With all of that, every COVID-19 vaccine candidate must undergo extensive trials as much as they can assure it would work for everyone.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson
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