Health COVID-19 vaccine likely to be less effective in older generations

COVID-19 vaccine likely to be less effective in older generations

Those most vulnerable to COVID-19 may not actually be fully covered by the first round of vaccines, a health expert has warned.

Elderly people, who have been most severely affected by the virus, respond differently to vaccines and may only get short-term or partial protection from any vaccine developed to combat SARS-CoV-2.

RMIT University’s Dr Kylie Quinn said older people tend to have lower immune responses to vaccines.

“Vaccines for older folks need a more tailored design, but tailored design takes time, which we won’t have with the first generation of vaccines,” Dr Quinn said.

Dr Quinn has urged immunologists to start working on the second generation on vaccines immediately.

Meanwhile, a second RMIT investigation has found men and women may also respond differently to any future COVID-19 vaccine.

Gender differences are not usually considered in the initial stages of vaccine development, but Professor Magdalena Plebanski said enough men and women were enrolled in global trials that any differences will quickly be evident.

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