- Pfizer and Moderna vaccines protect against SARS and MERS, US study found
Covid 19 jabs can also provide protection from 21 other viruses – some of which are deadly – a US study suggests.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York tested blood samples from 85 US citizens and found that those with Covid antibodies also had protective proteins against other coronaviruses – a family of viruses that cause respiratory and intestinal illnesses – including potentially fatal SARS and MERS.
SARS is a respiratory virus that began spreading in China in 2002, killing around one in ten of those it infected. MERS is also a respiratory syndrome which was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and kills around one in three of those infected.
Participants in the study had received two or three doses of the Moderna or Pfizer jabs, had been infected with Covid, or both. Their blood was tested for antibodies against 21 different coronaviruses of varying severity.
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to unwanted substances that enter the body. They bind to the substance, such as a virus, in order to destroy it.
Covid 19 jabs can also provide protection from 21 other viruses – some of which are deadly – a US study suggests
Results were compared with the blood samples of 15 people which had been taken in the two years before the pandemic.
The pre-pandemic blood samples were found to have antibodies against two viruses that cause colds, as well as one that affects cows. However, the post-pandemic blood samples were found to have protective proteins against the majority of the 21 coronaviruses.
The authors of the study said they detected a level of immunity strong enough to prevent severe illness and death but not infection.
While they aren’t entirely clear why this happens, it is suggested that coronaviruses share some genetic material – making it easier for the immune system to spot and attack them.
Just under 80 per cent of adults in England have Covid-19 antibodies in their blood, either due to vaccination or infection, according to the latest data from the Office For National Statistics.
The new study, which is yet to be reviewed by other scientists, concludes: ‘It is entirely possible that the global population, which is hyperimmunised to SARS-CoV-2 [the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19] through infection and vaccination, has now built more resistance to the many members coronavirus family.’