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FACT FINDERS: The importance of T cells in the fight against COVID

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - We have been talking a lot during the pandemic about antibodies but with Omicron the dialogue is shifting to focus more on T cells. Why is that?

Dr. Joshua LaBaer with Arizona State University says antibodies play a big role in preventing infection. You can think of them as your body’s first line of defense. He says antibodies you get from the vaccine can essentially block the virus from getting into our cells and can also alert your immune system about the virus. However, he says T cells are your second line of defense. They go around and attack the virus.

”Long-term it’s these T cells that provide the protection against severe infection and the good news is that the vaccines seem to produce enough of those T cells that they prevent people from having long-term severe, infection and that’s why even though the vaccines aren’t doing a great job at preventing Omicron infection, they are doing a good job at preventing severe infection,” he said.

A new study found the COVID booster increases T cell immune memory. It is not yet peer reviewed. For a look at this new research, click here.

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