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Podcast: Vaccines and COVID-19 infection generate protective antibodies, even against delta

This episode of ‘Show Me the Science’ focuses on the work of scientist Ali Ellebedy, who has published several papers about the immune response to vaccines and COVID-19 infection.

A new episode of our podcast, “Show Me the Science,” has been posted. At present, these podcast episodes are highlighting research and patient care on the Washington University Medical Campus as our scientists and clinicians confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been a busy summer in the laboratory of Ali Ellebedy, PhD, an associate professor of pathology & immunology and of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Studying samples from patients with COVID-19 infections and others who have been vaccinated against the virus, he’s found hopeful signs in the immune system — even regarding the vaccine’s response to the highly infectious delta variant. His laboratory has reported that the immune system continues to make protective antibodies for many months after both natural infection and vaccination, but he says that as long as anyone on the planet is infected with COVID-19, the rest of the world can’t be fully protected. As his research continues to show that vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease, Ellebedy says it’s important to increase access to vaccines and to encourage people to get vaccinated. The current vaccines are effective at protecting the vaccinated from severe disease in the lungs, but to eliminate most  breakthrough infections, Ellebedy says it may be important to develop vaccines that better protect tissues in the nose and throat.

The podcast, “Show Me the Science,” is produced by the Office of Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.