“Our older populations are potentially more susceptible to the variants even if they are vaccinated,” says senior author Fikadu Tafesse, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine, in a university release.
To be clear, researchers stress that even though older adults show a lower antibody response to vaccination, vaccines are still quite capable of stopping infection and severe illness in most people of all ages.
“The good news is that our vaccines are really strong,” Prof. Tafesse adds.
Higher vaccination rates may cut down on COVID variants
More vaccinations mean less overall COVID transmission and less of a chance of new variants emerging, two developments that can place older vaccinated adults at serious risk.
“The more people get vaccinated, the less the virus circulates,” Tafesse continues. “Older people aren’t entirely safe just because they’re vaccinated; the people around them really need to be vaccinated as well. At the end of the day, this study really means that everybody needs to be vaccinated to protect the community.”