KOMPAS.com – Recently, there has been a trend of testing antibodies in the laboratory after a vaccine to see if immunity has been established. Is this necessary?
Let’s first understand how the body gets sick and how vaccines fight it.
How do vaccines work?
Reporting from the official website of the World Health Organization (WHO), disease-causing pathogens such as viruses and bacteria are all around us. When a susceptible person is exposed to a harmful virus or bacteria, it will result in illness.
When a pathogen infects the body, our body’s defenses, called the immune system, attack and fight it to prevent disease.
Also read: This Antibody Therapy Can Prevent The Risk Of Death Due To Covid-19
The part of the pathogen that causes the formation of antibodies is called the antigen.
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Antibodies produced in response to antigens from pathogens are an important part of the immune system.
Antibodies can be seen as soldiers in your body’s defense system. Every antibody in our body is trained to recognize one specific antigen.
When the human body is exposed to an antigen for the first time, the immune system takes time to respond and produces antibodies that are specific for that antigen.
This process also occurs in vaccines.
Vaccines contain the same antigen as the disease-causing antigen.
However, the antigen present in the vaccine is attenuated so that it does not cause the person to get sick as if the person was exposed to the same antigen naturally.
When the vaccine has succeeded in producing specific antibodies, when a person is exposed to a dangerous pathogen later in life, the person’s immune system will be able to respond immediately.
Especially for the Sinovac vaccine, CoronaVac, immunity or antibodies appear after 14 days of being given the second injection.
Later, antibody tests appeared after the vaccine to find out whether the body was immune from the attack of the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus.
Internal Medicine Specialist Dr Hendra Gunawan SpPD said antibody measurement in the laboratory is indeed one way to find out whether immunity to the vaccine has been formed or not.
“But the interpretation cannot be arbitrary,” explained doctor Hendra to Kompas.com, Tuesday (29/6/2021).
The doctor who practices at Primaya Evasari Hospital, Jakarta, explained that the antibody test showed positive results not only because of the vaccine.
But people who have been infected with Covid-19 also have positive antibodies.
“So that a person’s antibody levels after vaccination cannot be taken literally,” he said.
He also said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that the technique for measuring antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has not been validated for use to estimate how immune a person is to SARS-CoV-2 infection. .
“This is because there is still the possibility of false negatives, especially if using certain antibody tests that do not detect antibodies against specific components of the target protein,” he said.
A false negative is when the test results do not detect the presence of the virus when the person is or has been exposed to the virus.
From this, Hendra reminded that until now there is no method recognized by researchers to determine the existence of immunity after being vaccinated or the vaccine has worked.
When do antibodies form after a vaccine?
Previously in Kompas.com news it was explained that the order in which the body’s immune system was formed after the Covid-19 vaccination was as follows:
- The first day of injection of the first dose of vaccine
- Day 7, immunity is starting to form but not yet perfect
- Day 14, injection of the second dose of vaccine. Day 28 injection of the second dose for the elderly.
- Day 28, the immune system begins to work against exposure to Covid-19; and 56th day for the elderly. This means 14 days after the second injection and for the elderly 28 days after the second injection.
Likewise, in a graph made by Greenvit International and Goodhealth Naturally New Zealand based on vaccine-safety-training.org, it is illustrated that the immune system after being vaccinated against Covid-19 begins to form on the 7th day after receiving the first vaccine. vaccine dose.
On the first to seventh day, the immunity is zero. That is why, a person can still catch Covid-19 a few days before the second vaccine.
Regarding the process of forming antibodies after the Covid-19 vaccine, Indonesian molecular biologist Ahmad Utomo confirmed that the information in the two descriptions above is correct.