The COVID19 disease that is led by the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects every individual differently. Some people undergo only mild flu-like symptoms during infection and some patients need hospitalization and intensive care due to severe respiratory issues. Some people lose their lives as well due to the disease. Health experts have said that these variations are majorly due to differences in viral load, disease progression, and immune function. Many experts have earlier said that elderly people with underlying issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, are at a higher risk of severe COVID19 and death. They have said that immunity from COVID19 depends on a number of factors such as vaccination history. They have said that vaccines are vital elements that teach the immune system to fight against a wide range of viruses that can make people fall ill. Vaccines can trigger innate immunity as well, which is the first line of defense of the body against foreign invaders. In the new study, scientists have tried to find out whether old shots can offer enough protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The notion that old vaccines might offer protective immunity against COVID19 has been prevalent since the pandemic has hit the world. So far, attenuated live shots like the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine have caught the attention of scientists. However, the new study has looked at the inactivated shots specifically diphtheria tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccines. The authors of the study have tried to find whether DTP vaccines can delay the onset of severe COVID19 infection.
A study that has been published in 2020, has found that bacterial shots such as DTP and meningitis B might reduce children’s protection against the virus due to cross-reactivity triggered by these shots. Experts have said that cross-reactivity is a vital method of heterologous immunity; it takes place when one virus prompts an immune response to a different virus in the future. Health experts have said that immunity fades away with time when people are not given booster shots. This is the reason why elderly people are more vulnerable to COVID19. Many past studies as well have shown that DTP shots are able to produce heterologous immunity despite diphtheria tetanus and pertussis being led by bacteria and the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes COVID19. A study that has been released in the journal called Medical Hypotheses has found that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) tetanus shot might help reduce the severity of COVID19. The new study has shown that older adults who have been given tetanus or diphtheria booster shot in the last 10 years might be at a lower risk of infection.
The authors of the study have tested vaccination and testing data of nearly 103049 people with the help of the UK Biobank Cohort. The average age of the participants has been 71.5 years. Experts have looked at other factors as well such as sex, other respiratory issues, age, and socioeconomic status. As per the study, people who have had taken DTP booster shots in the last 10 years have been younger adults and have been found with a higher socioeconomic status as compared to those who have not been immunized. The findings of the UK Biobank study have shown that people who have been vaccinated with diphtheria or tetanus booster shot in the past are less likely to be diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The authors of the study have been able to find a major link between these booster shots and the possibility of having severe COVID19. The study has noted that people who have been given tetanus booster shots have been two times lower risk of being diagnosed with fatal COVID19. People who have been given diphtheria booster shots have been 54 percent less likely to have severe COVID19.