Diagnostics and research tools are informing novel vaccine development like the COVID mRNA vaccines. Their effectiveness exceeded expectations, generating a robust adaptive immune response of antibodies and T cells - even in the face of variants.
Despite mounting evidence that we need to look at the entire immune response, many academics, government researchers and vaccine makers are failing to include T-cell metrics in their studies. As a result, key questions remain unanswered: How long do vaccines last? Does everyone need a booster?
Historically we have defaulted to antibody testing because the technology didn’t exist to measure T cells in large populations. Now we have the technology, and it can be use it in alongside antibody testing.
Making T-cell measurement a regular part of vaccine research and regulatory guidelines will help answer important questions about immunity and protection now, and put in place vaccine research standards preparing us for the next pandemic.