Ghent, 15 September 2021. Researchers from UZ Ghent and VIB (Flemish Institute of Biotechnology) examined the production of antibodies against COVID-19 in the nose. 78.3% of study participants developed antibodies on that site after vaccination. Antibodies in the nose can greatly prevent infection and spread.

Antibodies to protect against COVID-19


“Coronavirus enters our body through the upper respiratory tract,” explains Dr. Philippe Gevaert, a specialist in nose, throat and ear. “Neutral antibodies in our blood neutralize the virus by blocking the binding of spice proteins to human cells. Therefore, it is important to investigate the response to infection and vaccination in the nose.”

Most antibodies in the nose after Pfizer vaccination


Blood and nose were examined twice in 46 participating students: immediately before the first vaccination with Pfizer or AstraZenec and 13 to 40 days after the second vaccination. 23 participants had an infection before vaccination. Just before the first vaccination, but 17.4% of them After the full vaccination, 78.3% of the participants developed nasal antibodies.

Participants who received Pfizer showed more antibodies (96%) than participants who received AstraZeneca (59%). Local antibodies in Pfizer also had a previous COVID-19 infection and had no effect on the results. Blood tests showed the same number of antibodies in both vaccine groups.

Continue with the study


It is not yet clear why some vaccines produce more antibodies in the nose than others. “Perhaps this explanation is due to the different time interval between the two doses as well as the different effects of the vaccines,” suspected infectious disease specialist Professor Linos Vandekerckhove. “During the follow-up study, we will make another evolution of the antibody response in the blood and nose. We hope to gain more clarity in this way.”