The study says the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, a version of which is manufactured as Covishield
in India, might offer protection lasting a lifetime.
It means the body can continue making these vital cells long after the antibodies have waned – as
possibly for the rest of your life.
Scientists from Oxford and Switzerland, writing in journal Nature, say T-cell protection is a “key
feature” of adenovirus vaccines like the Oxford and J&J jabs.
Researcher Prof Burkhard Ludewig, of Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland, said: "The T-cells that come
from these cellular training camps appear to have a very high level of ‘fitness’.
“Adenoviruses have co-evolved with humans over a very long time, and learned a lot about the
human immune system in the process.
“Viruses are always the best teachers, and here they have taught us an important lesson about how
best to boost killer T-cell responses.
"Hopefully we can put this to good use in designing new vaccines targeting other diseases like TB,
HIV, hepatitis C and cancer."
The researchers found adenoviruses are able to get into long-lived tissue cells, known as fibroblastic
reticular cells, which act as “training grounds” for T-cells.
Previous studies have shown the Oxford jab is more effective at generating T-cells than mRNA
vaccines like the Pfizer and Moderna ones.
T-cell levels are difficult to measure, but the new study gives hope that they may last a lifetime.
Prof Paul Klenerman, of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, said: “Millions of people have
received adenovirus vaccines around the world.
The ultimate goal with these vaccines is the induction of long-term immune system protection using
both antibodies and T-cells.
“This research helps us to understand more on the process of vaccination, and why the effects on
killer T-cells are so prolonged.”
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