Science

Covid vaccine will not be as effective in the elderly population

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 14, 2020 Published on October 14, 2020

Leading science journal Nature has said the Covid vaccine will not work well in the elderly population as aging causes the body’s immune system to lose some of its vigour. This phenomenon known as immunosenescence might explain why older age groups are hard-hit by Covid-19.

And there is another troubling implication: vaccines, which incite the immune system to fight off invaders, often perform poorly in older people. The best strategy for quelling the pandemic might fail in exactly the group that needs it most, the journal said.

Scientists have known for decades that aging immune systems can leave the body prone to infection and weaken their response to vaccines. Quoting Matt Kaeberlein, a gerontologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, the journal said no vaccine is going to be as effective in the elderly as it is in young people.

Aging affects nearly every part of the human body. Some types of the immune cell become depleted: for example, older adults have fewer naive T cells that respond to new invaders, and fewer B cells, which produce antibodies that latch on to invading pathogens and target them for destruction, the journal added.

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Published on October 14, 2020
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