November 20, 2021

Does the COVID19 Vaccine Booster Work? Judge for yourself with your own eyes.

In my main work as a biomedical research scientist at Oakland University ( I study mechanisms of how genes are turned on and off in the retina and what causes some diseases to threaten vision in people from infants to adults. I also design the biotechnology production of human proteins in bacteria to make potential future therapeutics (drugs) to repair damaged blood vessels in the retina. Fundamentally, I am first and foremost a biochemist and have been fortunate to have gained experience in most specialities of biochemistry including metabolism, cell physiology, human physiology, DNA, RNA, Proteins, carbohydrates, hormones, cytokines, and some infectious diseases. Even a little past work with aspects of viruses, including HIV. You can do many things over 25-plus years in the lab. When the pandemic shut down non-covid research for some months into summer 2020, statewide, I pivoted, with the help of a few students to start evaluating a mobile fingertip blood test for antibodies to the COVID19 spike protein, from a US company called Epigentek. (Note I do not work for Epigentek, nor own any stock in the company.) As we found that this particular brand of the test was reliable (no false positives) and very specific to detect only antibodies to the COVID19 spike protein, we have used it to get a snapshot of when antibodies are detectable in our community after COVID19 infections (in 2020) and after COVID19 vaccinations in 2021. So, what about vaccination? I knew that even in my own case, before vaccination we cannot detect any antibodies in our blood. What about after vaccination? After 

6 months? After a booster shot? Here are my own tests to share with you to show you why I am quite happy with my vaccinations and my booster shot.

3 Month COVID19 antibody in Dr. Mitton's blood.


Above is our test of my blood's Covid 19 antibodies (IgG class) at 3 months after my 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Marked with the black dot. The red line to the right is a control line to help us know the flow in the test has worked properly. We can compare the darkness of the COVID 19 antibody double-line to the control line, and the darker the line, the more anitbody present in our blood sample. 

Below is my test about 6 months (5.7 months) after my full vaccination. 

6 Month COVID19 antibody in Dr. Mitton's blood.

As you can see the relative concentration of my antibodies to the spike protein of Covid19 is still easy to detect but is about half of what I had earlier at 3 months. My antibodies were waning by 6 months compared to 3 months.

Now even if my antibodies fade away completely, I will likely have resident immune system clonal cells that are ready to detect and respond more quickly to a Covid 19 infection than I would have prior to being vaccinated. However, in time, the number of those cells will also decrease. 

So last week, as a person who works on a university campus with many unvaccinated persons still present, I was able to get my COVID19 booster shot. It is about 1/2 the does of the first shots. My booster was Moderna. So I have been as patient as possible, but we have now tested my blood again, 5 days after my booster shot. Here is the result below.

5 days after booster shot. COVID19 antibody in Dr. Mitton's blood.

As you can see, my detectable COVID19 antibody (IgG) concentration is already increasing compared to my 3-month test. I am quite happy to see that. The boost of antibody should actually increase as I wait a couple more weeks. I will do a test again to and post that in a few weeks. 

Ken Mitton

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