Harald Renz in an interview about the booster with Omikron vaccines

Regardless of the recommendation of Standing Committee on Vaccination STIKO, many people are currently wondering whether they should be vaccinated - even if they may not belong to the risk group. With antibody tests there is the possibility to check the immune status with a blood test. The physician and director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine at the University Hospital in Giessen and Marburg, Harald Renz, explains who a blood test could be worthwhile for.

Mr. Renz, many people are uncertain at the moment. Actually they are double vaccinated and boosted, some even went through an infection. But now the adapted bivalent vaccines are coming to the doctor's office. Can you test whether you are getting the fourth vaccination, i.e. the second boostershould be given - or whether one can do without?

Before I answer the question, let's take a look at who is protected and how well. The best protection right now is if you have hybrid immunity. Vaccinated twice and infected once naturally, that is the best we can achieve.

Because then you didn't just come into contact with the vaccine antigen and the immune system didn't just get to know the prickly spike protein?

Exactly. Many more B-cell and T-cell viral epitopes are recognized in the immune response after infection. The innate and adaptive infection response is therefore broader than if you were only vaccinated three times. The hospitalization rate and mortality is the lowest with this type of immunization after an infection.

Laboratory physician Harald Renz

Laboratory physician Harald Renz

Image: HR Kittel

There are still many people who have been able to avoid the real virus so far...

Among these, the hybrid vaccinated or hybrid boosted are the best protected - i.e. those who had a mix of the different vaccines.

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