I’ve Heard That The Immune System Produces Different Types Of Antibodies When A Person Is Infected With The Covid
When a person gets a viral or bacterial infection, a healthy immune system makes antibodies against one or more components of the virus or bacterium.
The COVID-19 coronavirus contains ribonucleic acid surrounded by a protective layer, which has spike proteins on the outer surface that can latch on to certain human cells. Once inside the cells, the viral RNA starts to replicate and also turns on the production of proteins, both of which allow the virus to infect more cells and spread throughout the body, especially to the lungs.
While the immune system could potentially respond to different parts of the virus, it’s the spike proteins that get the most attention. Immune cells recognize the spike proteins as a foreign substance and begin producing antibodies in response.
There are two main categories of antibodies:
Binding antibodies. These antibodies can bind to either the spike protein or a different protein known as the nucleocapsid protein. Binding antibodies can be detected with blood tests starting about one week after the initial infection. If antibodies are found, it’s extremely likely that the person has been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The antibody level declines over time after an infection, sometimes to an undetectable level.
Binding antibodies help fight the infection, but they might not offer protection against getting reinfected in the future. It depends on whether they are also neutralizing antibodies.
Are Certain People More Likely To Experience Side Effects
There are also some factors that could make you more likely to experience side effects.
Experts say younger people are more likely to experience side effects because they have more robust immune systems.
Women are much more likely to report side effects than men. Some of this may be because they may just be better reporters, but it could be more than just that.
Why is that?
Estrogen can elevate immune responses, while testosterone can decrease it. Many immune modulating genes also live on an “x” chromosome, which women have two of, while men have one.
Data from the CDC also reported women were more likely to experience side effects than men, according monitoring from the first month of vaccinations.
From Dec. 14 through Jan. 13, more than 79% of side effects were reported by women, the data showed. Meanwhile, women received roughly 61.2% of the doses administered during that same time.
What Are The Symptoms Of Covid
Some people infected with the virus have no symptoms. When the virus does cause symptoms, common ones include fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, chills, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, and loss of smell. In some people, COVID-19 causes more severe symptoms like high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, which often indicates pneumonia.
People with COVID-19 can also experience neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, or both. These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms.
For example, COVID-19 affects brain function in some people. Specific neurological symptoms seen in people with COVID-19 include loss of smell, inability to taste, muscle weakness, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, dizziness, confusion, delirium, seizures, and stroke.
In addition, some people have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or discomfort associated with COVID-19.
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How Does The Pfizer Covid
COVID-19 vaccines work by using a harmless version or component of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to train the immune system, so when we encounter the virus for real weâre able to fight it off.
This âtrainingâ response can feel a bit like the effects we get when weâre fighting off a real infection. These whole body effects include headaches, fever, chills or shivers, tiredness , muscle or joint pains, diarrhoea and feeling sick .
Itâs also common to experience local effects like pain, swelling, redness or itchiness at the site of the injection, or swelling of the glands in the armpit.
While they may make you feel grotty, all these effects are a sign that your immune system is kicking into action to protect you from COVID-19.
At the same time, donât worry if you donât experience any of these effects after your vaccine. Your immune system will still be learning to respond to the virus.
What If I Experience Swelling Or Tenderness Away From Where I Was Injected
Some patients who receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines may experience some swelling or tenderness in their lymph nodes. It is also possible that this swelling will show up on imaging tests and could be mistaken for progression of certain cancers primarily breast, head and neck, melanoma, and lymphoma.
This vaccine side effect is more common after the second dose, usually occurs within two to four days after the vaccination, and can last for an average of 10 days.
On imaging tests, the lymph node enlargement may be detected for a longer period. For these reasons, we recommend:
- If you develop this symptom after youre vaccinated, you should speak to your doctor. Most of the time, they will recommend that you wait at least four weeks before getting further tests, to give time for the swelling to disappear.
- You should schedule your COVID-19 vaccination after any routine imaging. If youve already had the vaccine, then we recommend you wait six weeks for any routine breast screenings, including mammography and breast MRI.
- If youve had cancer, you should ask for your COVID-19 vaccine to be administered on the opposite side of your cancer diagnosis if possible.
- If you have any discomfort from the swelling, you can use a warm compress. Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken to ease the discomfort.
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Myocarditis And The Covid
Since April 2021, some people have developed myocarditis and pericarditis after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The problem occurs more often in adolescents and young adults, and in males.
Considering the hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses that have been administered, these reports are very rare. The vast majority of myocarditis or pericarditis cases are mild and resolve quickly. Myocarditis is more likely to occur as a result of COVID-19 infection than as a side effect of the vaccines.
Seek medical attention right away if, within a few days of receiving the second injection of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination , you or your child experience:
- Chest pain
- Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heartbeat
COVID can cause heart problems, too
Having COVID-19 can also cause heart problems. One study published by the CDC reports that from March 2020 to January 2021, patients with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk for myocarditis compared with patients who did not have COVID-19.
How Does Immunity From A Vaccine Compare To Immunity From Infection
Vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity both provide protection against getting the infection in the future. Which one provides better immunity can depend on the type of infection it is.
We are still learning about COVID-19 and immunity, but a recent study showed that vaccine-induced immunity was better than natural immunity in protecting against COVID-19. Getting the vaccine also allowed the immune system to recognize other coronavirus strains, which could provide protection against new variants that develop.
An important advantage of any vaccine-induced immunity is that you can get immunity without actually getting sick. For COVID-19, this is especially important because even if you recover from it, many people continue to have debilitating symptoms for months.
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The Importance Of Long Covid Research
Long COVID is unpredictable. Severity of initial COVID-19 symptoms doesnt determine whether someone will have lingering illness or the intensity of any post-COVID symptoms.
We know with long COVID that a lot of young people get it, Massey explains. A lot of people who have mild cases get it. People who are completely asymptomaticlike one of the patients in our studycan then be in a wheelchair because of long COVID.
A study published in The Lancet shows how long COVID can impact quality of life. Researchers analyzed data collected from 3,762 survey participants with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and with illness lasting more than 28 days. The study estimated 203 long COVID symptoms across 10 organ systems.
Theres such a breadth of long COVID experiences, Massey says. Some of them are completely debilitating.
For more than 90% of participants, symptoms lasted longer than 35 weeks. The most frequent symptoms after six months included fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and post-exercise malaise. More than 45% of responders needed a reduced work schedule, and more than 22% were not working at all as a result of ongoing illness.
The data was collected prior to vaccine availability, so none of the participants had a breakthrough case. But the research shows the importance of preventing COVID-19 infection. And experts say the currently available vaccines are still our best tools for doing that.
Blood Clots And The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
In April 2021, the FDA and the CDC put a temporarily pause on allowing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be given to people while they investigated a rare side effect in some who had received that vaccine. Learn more about pausing and resuming the J& J vaccine.
A small number of people developed a serious blood clot condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS, after they received the J& J vaccine. TTS causes blood clots with low levels of blood platelets. Although very rare and treatable when diagnosed in time, TTS is serious.
Nearly all reports of TTS have been in adult women younger than age 50. After reviewing the data, the FDA determined that the J& J vaccines known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks, and administration of the J& J COVID vaccine was allowed to continue.
However, women younger than age 50 should be aware of this rare adverse event and should know that other COVID-19 vaccines are available.
For three weeks after receiving the J& J vaccine, you should watch for possible symptoms of TTS and get medical help immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin near the injection site
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At What Point Should You Call A Doctor
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection, the CDC states. Still, the agency recommends you contact your doctor or healthcare provider if:
- The redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
- Your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
Anyone who believes they are experiencing a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site should also seek immediate medical care by calling 911, the CDC recommends.
When Should You Get Tested For Covid
The most obvious time to get tested for COVID-19 is, of course, when you have noticeable symptoms. But there are some other times in which it makes sense to get tested even if you have no symptoms at all, El-Sadr explained.
First, if you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested whether or not you have symptoms yourself.
Second, you should get tested between three and five days after traveling internationally, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, regardless of your symptoms.
Finally, if you have access to rapid tests, you should use them before attending gatherings with people that you don’t live with, especially if you don’t know everyone’s vaccination or booster status, El-Sadr said.
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Immunity After Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
In the initial clinical trial studies for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
Partial immunity started to develop 2 weeks after the shot, and full immunity was reached about 28 days after the shot, for an overall effectiveness of preventing 66.1% cases of moderate to severe COVID-19 .
Additional studies are still providing more information about immunity after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For example, some initial studies showed that the immune response may even continue to rise after 28 days.
Do You Feel Worse After Vaccination If Youve Already Had Covid
Our research shows that people who had previously experienced COVID-19 were more likely to experience the systemic effects after vaccination.
Around a third of people who had COVID-19 in the past reported at least one systemic effect within seven days of getting a Pfizer vaccine, compared with one in five people who hadnât already had the virus.
Around one in twenty people who had previously had COVID-19 experienced after-effects for more than three days during the first week, and around one in fifty were affected for six days or more.
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Super Immunity From Breakthrough Infection After Covid
Can breakthrough infection after being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 really give you whats … being called super immunity on social media?
A breakthrough Covid-19 coronavirus infection may not be super to have. But can it actually give you whats being called super immunity on social media? In other words, can a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection after being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 bring you even greater protection? Well, a research letter just published in JAMA offered a small window into this super possibility.
If you search for super immunity on social media you will find plenty of posts such as the following:
Youll also find mention of the study described by the JAMA research letter. For example, Monica Gandhi MD, MPH, a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and HIV researcher, used the terms hybrid immunity and super immunity when tweeting about the study:
Healthcare workers at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center receive COVID-19 vaccinations in … Portland, Oregon
Again, this was a limited study. Size does matter in such cases. While 52 may seem like a large number when it comes to bowling balls in your pants, it is rather small for a clinical study. Such a small sample size cant account for the variation that may be seen among different people and circumstances.
So You Got The Covid Vaccine: How Long Until The Side Effects Kick In Here’s What To Expect
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine: sore arm, fever, chills, fatigue, headache, nausea, and more. The side effects vary depending on which vaccine you get, and they also are supposedly worse after the second shot, if you are younger, and/or if you had previously had COVID.
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My Parents Are Older Which Puts Them At Higher Risk For Covid
Caring from a distance can be stressful. Start by talking to your parents about what they would need if they were to get sick. Put together a single list of emergency contacts for their reference, including doctors, family members, neighbors, and friends. Include contact information for their local public health department.
You can also help them to plan ahead. For example, ask your parents to give their neighbors or friends a set of house keys. Have them stock up on prescription and over-the counter medications, health and emergency medical supplies, and nonperishable food and household supplies. Check in regularly by phone, Skype, or however you like to stay in touch.
Should I Still Get Myself Or My Child Vaccinated
Yes. CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 5 years and older get vaccinated for COVID-19. The known risks of COVID-19 illness and its related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death, far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
If you have already gotten the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or if your child has already gotten the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, its important to get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
If you have concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, talk with your healthcare provider or your childs doctor, nurse, or clinic.
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Myocarditis And Pericarditis After Mrna Covid
CDC and its partners are actively monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. Active monitoring includes reviewing data and medical records and evaluating the relationship to COVID-19 vaccination.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the bodys immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis.external icon Seek medical care if you or your child have symptoms of these conditions after COVID-19 vaccination. Myocarditis and pericarditis have rarely been reported, especially in adolescents and young adult males within several days after COVID-19 vaccination.
With Omicron Many Vaccinated Americans Will At Some Point Test Positive Heres What To Do
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With the omicron variant spreading rapidly, the United States is all but certain to see a sharp rise in breakthrough coronavirus infections among vaccinated people. These cases were relatively rare in the pre-omicron days, but the new variant has shown an ability to slip past the bodys first line of immune defenses. That means many Americans who have gotten the shots will at some point test positive.
Coronavirus vaccines act like a shield against disease, not an impenetrable barrier, and they offer protection against the omicron variant. Health authorities say booster shots of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are the best defense against serious illness, providing robust protection against severe disease. Your likelihood of developing a breakthrough infection is lowest if youve gotten the additional shot. The initial two-shot vaccine regimen still offers protection, but its not as effective against the omicron variant without boosters.
If you do get a breakthrough infection, heres some advice on how to navigate it.
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