Original Sin (Romans 5:17-18)

Original sin.

Even those who have no religious background are familiar with this term. Christians use this term to describe the fallen and weakened state into which everyone is born, because of the sin of our ancestral parents, Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. There is a variation of this term that has been making headlines. 

Original antigenic sin.

It is also known as immune imprinting and the Hoskins effect. It refers to the phenomenon of how the body’s immune system produces its initial immune antibody response to a foreign antigen, such as a virus, which successfully eliminates the infection. However, if the body is re-exposed to the same virus with some of its antigenic proteins slightly modified because of the adaptation by the virus, the body will still recognize the original antigens and produce antibodies to it but may not develop antibodies against the new antigens. The result is a weakened immune response. With each new adaptation of the virus, the immune system may still only recognize the original antigens and not the new ones, leading to a progressively weaker immune response.

The application to the current COVID pandemic is relevant because of the use of vaccines and boosters. Some scientists fear that giving boosters that still focus on the original antigens will force the immune system to lock in on these antigens, hindering the immune system to mount a vigorous response to new antigens. Other experts dismiss this possibility, saying that as long as the new vaccines are created to produce antibodies specifically against these new variants, it will continue to provide adequate protection. 

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 

Romans 5:17-18 (NLT)

The original sin describes our fallen state with inevitable suffering and death. The original antigenic sin mimics this with an immune system that is increasingly impaired to defend against foreign antigens. We attempt to tweak God’s design for our bodies with our man made vaccines but ironically, this may be creating a worse situation. Likewise, by our own efforts, we are unable to overcome our nature to sin and become ever weaker and more susceptible to sinning. Only by the supernatural intervention of Jesus Christ can we be saved from this fate. Thanks be to God that He has reconciled us to Him, bringing us into a right relationship through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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