Global health clarifies the safest way to stimulate the immune system against corona

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, confirmed that the body’s immune system is indeed amazingly complex and versatile, but there remains a need to get vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 virus because the immune response varies from person to person.

In Episode 67, Vismita Gupta Smith hosted WHO Chief Scientist, Dr. Swaminathan, to talk about how the human body develops immunity when it encounters a new virus such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

resistance and memory formation

Dr. Swaminathan said when the body is exposed to a new virus such as SARS-CoV-2, which has never been seen before, the immune system is activated and many reactions begin, among which the first and fastest response is the production of antibodies. This is also accompanied by the delivery of messages to other parts of the immune system so that T cells, or the cell’s immune response, are also activated.

Ultimately, what happens is that if the body’s immune response is strong, it can beat the virus and eliminate the infection. It also develops a memory response so that the next time the body sees the same virus, it is able to respond more quickly because the body’s memory B cells and T cells are able to recognize and respond. Therefore, reference is made extensively and frequently to antibodies, as they are an important part of the immune system, which ensures the human being in a good health condition.


Important role of vaccines

Dr. Swaminathan added that the way vaccines work, an amazing innovation of the 20th century, is by mimicking an organism, virus or bacteria. Thus, the thorny protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is taken and turned into a vaccine. Of course, many know that there are different types of mRNA vaccines and vaccines directed at inactivated (or inactivated) viruses, all of which lead to the same results in a safe way in the body.

Thus the immune response generated is very similar to the immune response to a natural infection. However, in most cases, vaccines are a safer way to stimulate the immune system.



Boosting natural immunity

Thus, according to Dr. Swaminathan, a natural infection triggers an immune response and gives the body some immunity, but it varies from person to person.

So if a person has had a very mild infection, the immune response may actually be lower than those who have had a severe infection, and it is still not known exactly how long it will last.

In some people, immunity lasts for a few months. In others, the period of natural immunity due to a mild infection can be up to a year.

So the advantage of getting vaccinated, even if a person has had a previous infection, is that it strengthens his immune system ensuring that he has a good memory against the virus and so that he has a very good response if he happens to be exposed to infections in the future, especially to new variants With new spikes. So hybrid immunity, natural and immune, is the best type of immunity you can get.

precautionary measures

Dr. Swaminathan concluded her speech by stressing the importance of continuing to adhere to preventive measures such as wearing protective masks, physical distancing, opening doors and windows for air circulation, avoiding crowded places, and washing hands with soap and water or disinfecting them with alcohol. She explained that people who have been infected in the past and certainly those who have been vaccinated or both have good immune responses that protect against infection, noting that current vaccines are very effective in preventing serious diseases and reduce the need for hospitalizations for treatment, but they are not effective by 100% against infection.

So even if a person is vaccinated, they can still be infected, which means they will also be contagious to others.

Dr. Swaminathan advises adherence to precautionary measures all the time, explaining that emerging variants, especially the worrying Omicron, were able to overcome immunity, and thus were able to infect many people who had already had previous infections or had previously received vaccines, but fortunately were not There are many severe disease cases.

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