Keeping COVID-19 in check likely to require periodic boosters

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New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that updated booster shots will be important for shoring up population immunity as new variants emerge – but there’s a caveat. Their research, published April 3 in Nature, shows that vaccinating people against the original strain of the virus and then boosting with a shot that targets a new variant can elicit a broad antibody response capable of neutralizing a wide array of variants, including ones that have not yet emerged. The trick is to target a variant for the booster that is so different from the original strain of the virus that it triggers the maturation of new and diverse antibody-producing cells.