People who were infected almost two decades ago with the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) generate a powerful antibody response after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Their immune systems can fight off multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as related coronaviruses found in bats and pangolins.
The Singapore-based authors of a small study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine say the results offer hope that vaccines can be developed to protect against all new SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as other coronaviruses that have the potential to cause future pandemics.
The researchers suggest that such broad protection could arise because the vaccine jogs the immune system's "memory" of regions of the SARS virus that are also present in SARS-CoV-2 and possibly many other sarbecoviruses.
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