New studies have found that Americans receiving the first dose of the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may be protected against the spread of the vaccine.
According to a Bloomberg report, out of more than 1,000 staff members tested at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, many responded to the first dose so robustly that their results were similar to co-workers who received both doses.
Research leader Susan Cheng, who co-authored a study published in the Nature Medicine journal, said that those who have already contracted the virus, immune responses after one vaccine have broken to be even more effective than someone who has never gotten COVID-19 and received both doses.
The report states that “the implications at a time of strained global supply are striking” and could giving previously infected people just one vaccine shot could free up more than 110 million doses worldwide.
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“The immune system in people who’ve had COVID-19 ‘remembers’ the virus, so a first vaccine acts as a powerful booster for existing defenses, researchers said. “The data is very clear … Every study has shown you get a very clear and strong memory response.”
Despite the new research, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends two vaccine doses for people who have had COVID-19.
In a blog post, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins noted that giving survivors a single dose could “help to extend vaccine supply and get more people vaccinated sooner,” adding that “any serious consideration of this option will require more data.”
“The data does suggest, however, that one dose could be enough, and that could be true for other types of people as well,” Cheng added. “I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg of figuring out who they are.”
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