Scientists have found that if people get the BioNTech mRNA vaccine as their third booster dose it “produces more neutralising antibodies against Omicron variants”.
The Macau University of Science and Technology’s (MUST) Faculty of Medicine study was led by Assistant Professor Daniel Baptista-Hon and Zhuhai People’s Hospital and The First Affiliated Hospital of the MUST Faculty of Medicine’s Director Prof Li-Gong Lu.
The study highlighted “the importance of vaccination in the response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic” with an impact factor of 35.13. With Macao’s current Covid-19 outbreak caused by the Omicron variant, the study pointed out that vaccinations “are one of the most important ways to reduce infection and death from Covid-19”. The study added that vaccinations “stimulate our bodies to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2”, with some of the antibodies being “‘neutralising’ – they prevent SARS-CoV-2 from infecting our cells altogether and stop us from falling ill”.
The research found that people who have received two doses of the inactivated virus vaccine, and those who received the BioNTech mRNA vaccine as a booster “produce more neutralising antibodies effective against the Omicron BA.2 variant”.
Prof Baptista-Hon commented: “The results of our study show that the choice of the booster shot is very important, and the data in our study is in line with the recommendations of the Health Bureau of the Macao SAR Government that people should consider the mRNA vaccine as their booster dose”.
The publication is part of the ongoing Macao Antibody Protection Study (MAPS) – initiated in February 2022 – a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine and MUST’s University Hospital, Zhuhai People’s Hospital and First Affiliated Hospital of Faculty of Medicine MUST, Guangzhou Medical University, and Fosun Pharmaceuticals. Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma is Macao’s distributor of mRNA vaccines.
MAPS is led by Chair Professor Kang Zhang and Prof Baptista-Hon and has the overall aim of evaluating vaccine protection effectiveness in Macao.