April 23, 2024

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The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine – What happened to him?

The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine – What happened to him?

The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine – What happened to him?

A man who was apprehended by the police for receiving 217 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine has “surrendered” to researchers, offering himself for study to understand the changes in the immune system after receiving so many doses of the vaccine. The study results provide remarkable insights into these novel mRNA vaccines.

The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine - What happened to him?

The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine - what happened to him?

Excessive vaccination can increase the quantity of adaptive immunity but not its quality.

In March 2022, a 62-year-old man in Germany was apprehended by the police for receiving multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The police suspected that he had personally received over 90 doses of the vaccine, accumulating vaccination cards to sell to people evading vaccination.

The investigation ultimately did not lead to any criminal charges, but a group of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg became fascinated by the case. What effects would receiving so many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have on the human immune system?

“We learned about his case through articles in the newspapers,” said Kilian Schober, the author of a newly published case report. “We subsequently contacted him and invited him to Erlangen for various examinations. He was very interested.”

While documenting his case, the man claimed to have received 217 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than half verified through clinical records. The majority of these were mRNA doses, with smaller amounts of AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sanofi doses. The total span of doses covered 29 months, but the majority were concentrated within 9 months in mid-2021.

A key question researchers began to investigate was whether the man had developed an informal “immune exhaustion.” As people around the world began receiving third, fourth, or even fifth doses of the COVID vaccine, some researchers began to believe that attacking the immune system with the same antigen in a short period might actually be harmful. According to Schober, this notion comes from observations of patients with chronic viral infections such as HIV.

“In chronic infections like HIV or hepatitis B, this situation can occur periodically,” Schober pointed out. “There is evidence that certain types of immune cells (T cells) become exhausted, leading to a reduction in the pro-inflammatory messengers they release.”

Therefore, if this situation applies to multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, then individuals who receive dozens of vaccines in a short period would definitely show molecular signs of impaired immunity. However, it turned out that at least for this individual, this was not the case.

From recent and past years’ blood test results, the man had very high levels of antibodies and T cells against SARS-CoV-2. When investigating general T-cell responses to other antigens, the man’s immune cells were as effective as any control cells. This indicates that his immune system was not fatigued or exhausted and could resist pathogens like a normal person.

Perhaps more surprisingly, researchers reported that the man did not experience any adverse effects after receiving multiple doses of the vaccine, even when he received vaccines daily for several weeks. Additionally, the man claimed he had never been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

During the study, at the insistence of the man, he even received another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to check for acute immune reactions after receiving all the previous vaccines. He produced an effective antibody response, indicating that the vaccine was still effective.

Schober cautiously emphasized that this does not mean we should all go out and get extra doses of the vaccine at any time. This is just a case study, and a very peculiar one at that. But what this story tells us is that COVID-19 vaccines are generally very safe, and the likelihood of immune exhaustion after receiving several doses is minimal.

“Despite the very high number of vaccine doses administered, no clear side effects have occurred, indicating good tolerability of these drugs. Current research suggests that administering three doses of the vaccine and regularly supplementing vaccines for susceptible populations are still the most popular methods,” Schober said.

In summary, researchers have found no signs of weaker immune response in this individual; quite the opposite, in fact. Moreover, the 217th vaccine dose he received during the study remained effective, significantly increasing the antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Further tests by the research team showed that his immune system’s effectiveness against other pathogens remained unchanged. This means that excessive COVID-19 vaccine boosting did not harm the immune system itself.

The research team stated that he received a total of 8 different vaccines, including mRNA vaccines targeting different COVID-19 variants, and despite undergoing a high number of booster shots, he did not experience significant side effects, indicating these vaccines have good tolerability.

The researchers also emphasized that this is just a single case, and the study’s results are not enough to draw far-reaching conclusions.

The current recommendation based on this research is to administer three doses of the vaccine and to provide regular booster shots for high-risk groups. There is no evidence to suggest the need for excessive additional doses.

This new study was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The man who received 217 doses of COVID-19 vaccine – What happened to him?

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