Geert Vanden Bossche: Why T cells do not explain Omicron’s mildness

Now that we have a variant that has largely become resistant to neutralization by vaccinal Abs, some immunologically naïve people are leading us to believe that vaccine-induced T cells explain Omicron’s mild infectious behavior and why “the capacity of the immune system to limit the spread of the virus would still be preserved.” Their story attempts to build the case for people to remain confident that they’re at much lower risk of getting seriously ill if they’re vaccinated. Lucky enough, we’re not mainstreamers who buy stories that are rooted in biased analysis, such as those reporting protection of vaccinees against severe disease based on assessments involving hospitalized patients only! We don’t swallow stories that are not based on sound scientific grounds or that suffer from confounding bias.

The author of this article is confusing T cell-mediated immune recognition with T cell-mediated cytolysis. There is no evidence that natural coronavirus (CoV) infection or any C-19 vaccine induces fully functional cytolytic T memory cells in vivo (1, 2). As a result, CoV-specific T cells do not provide sterilizing immunity and therefore cannot prevent viral transmission.

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