Strength of COVID-19 antibodies depends on age and sex: Study finds levels are higher for women and children than men after second Pfizer jab 

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  • Women and children have higher antibody levels than men after a second shot of the coronavirus vaccine, a study has found.
  • Scientists suggest this is because testosterone naturally suppresses the immune system.
  • The study also found that people under the age of 65 have higher levels than those above
  • However, levels were found to drop by 50% across the board six months after the second time

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A new study shows that your gender and age determine how strong antibody levels are after receiving two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute, in collaboration with the University of Verona, Italy, found higher antibody levels for women and children than men and individuals over the age of 65.

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Study participants under the age of 65 were found to have more than twice the antibody levels than those above the threshold.

However, the study, which is considered the largest study in the world on the spread of antibodies over time, also showed that levels dropped by 50 percent within six months for all — regardless of age or gender.

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The Texas Biomedical Research Institute, in collaboration with Italy’s University of Verona, found the antibody peak to be higher for women and children than for men and individuals over the age of 65.

Brandon Michael Henry, MD, a medical scientist and postdoctoral researcher at Texas BioMed who co-led the study, said in a Statement: ‘While we look at how well vaccines have helped keep people out of hospital and prevent life-threatening disease, antibody levels are declining rapidly in all individuals, regardless of age and gender.

‘Our study provides additional evidence that booster shots for all adults will be important to maintain antibody levels so that we can continue to build an effective immune response against COVID-19 infection and prevent COVID-19 death’ .’

The findings are based on a group of 787 healthcare workers in Italy, aged between 21 and 75, who received two doses of the vaccine.

Researchers measured antibody levels in study subjects before vaccination, after the second dose, and at one, three and six months after the second shot.

Study participants under 65 were found to have more than twice as many antibody levels as those above the threshold

Study participants under 65 were found to have more than twice the antibody levels than those above the threshold

The team believes that the differences between the sexes are due to hormones in the body – specifically testosterone in men.

According to the press release, testosterone ‘naturally suppresses the immune system, while estrogen, which is higher in women, is known to enhance the immune response.’

In addition, some of the genes that code for certain immune proteins are on the X chromosome, and since females have two X chromosomes, this may help increase immune activity.

Henry said, “Normally, only one X chromosome is active and the other is mostly inactive, but there is evidence that immune-related genes remain active on that redundant chromosome and help promote immune responses in women.” We do.”

Henry has also led systematic reviews that show similar results for age and gender.

He and his colleagues developed a method to standardize research results for antibody levels, looking at the percentage change in antibody levels, in 32 studies involving more than 5,000 people.

“We’ve seen older people and men suffer the worst consequences of COVID-19 during the pandemic,” Henry said.

‘These studies point to a weakened immune response against SARS-CoV-2 as a contributing factor to this phenomenon.’

Henry stressed that a drop in antibody levels does not necessarily mean that vaccines are not effective.

and notes that ‘as antibodies continue to decline over time, a booster dose may help maintain adequate levels of these life-saving antibodies,’ they shared in a statement.

The study comes as the world faces a new coronavirus variant, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says poses a ‘very high’ global risk.

The team believes that the differences between the sexes are due to hormones in the body – specifically testosterone in men.  According to the press release, testosterone 'naturally suppresses the immune system'

The team believes that the differences between the sexes are due to hormones in the body – specifically testosterone in men. According to the press release, testosterone ‘naturally suppresses the immune system’

The new variant, named Omicron, was first identified in South Africa last week, but has since reached parts of Europe and North America.

Omicron is the most mutated form of COVID yet detected and has been declared a ‘form of concern’ by the WHO as early data suggests it is more contagious than the delta strain.

President Joe Biden on Monday urged Americans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots amid warnings about the spread of the Omicron variant – but insisted the infectious new variant was not a cause for ‘panic’ and said no new restrictions was not required.

“We will fight this edition with scientific and enlightening actions and speed, not chaos and confusion,” Biden said at the White House.

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