Damaged Immune System Main Reason for the Pandemic of Vaccinated People

Close-up of a medical syringe withdrawing a dose of medicine from a small vial.

The immune system's response to any virus, including the coronavirus, is not the same in every individual which means those who have been vaccinated will not all experience the same level of protection. (Image: Marian Vejcik via Dreamstime)

Ever since the coronavirus-induced pandemic broke out, health experts have been focusing on the human immune system and ways to bolster its efficacy. In fact, most COVID-19 vaccines are meant for enhancing the protection offered by the immune system. However, the human immune system is pretty complicated. It is said to be the most complex part of the human body, barring the brain. The immune system is composed of a very intricate network of molecules and cells. This network is what protects you from the myriads of viruses and microbes. 

People use the word “immunity” quite casually without being fully aware of the core meaning. Immunologists use the word to signify that the body has generated an immune response to the activities of a particular pathogen. This usually happens by generating antibodies and activating defensive cells. Most people then think they are safe from being infected.

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However, the truth is that an immune response may not always offer immunity in the way people think. The efficacy of the antibodies is a key factor here. Sometimes, the default immune response generated by the body can lead to serious situations. One example is the coronavirus-induced cytokine storm in the human body. It is an aggravated form of immune response and, in some cases, it can lead to death. 

The immune system’s response to any virus, including the coronavirus, is not the same in every individual. Some people fall seriously ill after getting infected while there are others who do not feel anything. It can be a little hard to understand for a person hailing from a non-clinical background.

Depending on your immune system, you may or may not get seriously ill after being infected.
Due to differences in people’s immune systems, some people fall seriously ill after getting infected. (Image: Pojoslaw via Dreamstime)

The immune system goes into action when a pathogen like a coronavirus enters the body. Its activities can be segregated into three phases. The first phase is launching a counterattack on the intruder. As soon as the virus enters the airways, proteins called cytokines are generated. The white blood cells are summoned to devour the invading viruses and chemicals are unleashed within. These aggressive acts cause inflammation, swelling, and soreness. These indicate the innate immune system is working.

The 2nd phase is more intensive. In it, messenger cells carry the virus to the lymph nodes where T-cells get to work. These specialized white blood cells are meant for fighting specific pathogens. Some T-cells kill the infected respiratory cells and others act as boosters.

The third stage of the immune response is where the body memorizes the new pathogens. When the same pathogens strike again, the memory cells respond. 

The immune system is very complex

Now that newer strains of coronavirus are appearing in various parts of the world, people are worried about whether or not the existing antibodies will be capable of fighting off these variants. It would vary from one person to another as the immune system is very complex. There are also many other factors involved. Age, pre-existing ailments, level of vaccination received — everything has to be considered. 

The coronavirus as seen at the molecular level.
Now that newer strains of coronavirus are appearing in various parts of the world, people are worried about whether or not the existing antibodies will be capable of fighting off these variants. (Image: Kts via Dreamstime)

The virus is mutating incessantly and this makes the work of the immune system tougher. The adaptive immune system may sometimes fail to recognize the stealthy working pattern of the newer strains and that can delay corrective measures. This may give the virus a chance to access the lungs and other body organs. This explains why many patients infected with COVID-19 are coping with multi-organ damage. 

The inherent working mechanism of the human immune system is also responsible for the long-term health woes of COVID-19 patients. Immune responses are rather violent in nature. In the process, cells get ravaged and chemicals are unleashed. While the immune system is designed to restrain the mayhem, things go awry when an infection runs amok. The immune system causes collateral damage while trying to eliminate the pathogen from the body. Many people in ICUs die after coping with ravages caused by overactive immune cells, even after the virus has been eliminated. 

Researchers are perplexed by the variations they find while exploring the types of reactions people have to the coronavirus. It is a general perception that people who were infected once or twice with the virus remain immune to newer strains. However, a section of people has pre-existing immunity against the new strains. It is weird that some people who never got exposed to the coronavirus have enough T-cells to identify the virus. The complexity of the immune system makes it hard for scientists to reach definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of vaccines and the possibility of getting reinfections. 

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