In-Depth: La Jolla Institute vaccine study nears conclusion

Researchers hope to publish results this fall
La Jolla Institute for Immunology.png
Posted at 7:10 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 15:08:16-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - A study comparing immunity levels across four different vaccines is close to completion. Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology say they could have results sometime this fall.

The study is the first of its kind to compare COVID-19 immunity levels of T-cells and B-cells from the Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and NovaVax vaccines for six months.

LJI researchers say they're collecting the six-month samples from their blood donors in the next few weeks. Then they'll compile all of the data and publish their findings.

"If we can get a one-month, three-month, and six-month time point, we can really get a decent estimate about what's probably gonna happen for several years," explains Dr. Shane Crotty, one of the lead researchers in the study.

This is believed to be the first study to compare all four vaccines in the same lab simultaneously. Researchers say that makes the results more reliable.

RELATED: La Jolla Institute takes comprehensive look at COVID-19 immunity

"To be able to run the assets in the same lab with the same machine in the same day with the same reagents really takes out a lot of concerns in terms of how variable the responses are and how directly comparable different studies are," says Dr. Alessandro Sette, another lead researcher at the LJI.

Researchers hope the information will show which vaccine offers the strongest immunity for the most amount of time. They also want to learn when people might need a booster shot depending on which brand of vaccine they use.

"It's important to understand whether there is going to be a benefit from boosting these responses," says Dr. Sette. "Also, we need to identify different categories of people that may benefit or may require a booster."

ABC 10News Reporter Jared Aarons is one of the participants in the study. Donors are given a stipend for their time, and blood draws.

Researchers at LJI say they're also doing studies on breakthrough COVID-19 infections and how different vaccines recognize variants of the virus.