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Those who had COVID-19 may only need one vaccine dose, study suggests

(Lauren Jackson WBRC)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - People who have had COVID-19 in the past may have as strong of COVID-19 immunity from only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine than those who have never had COVID-19 and had two shots, studies indicate.

If those who have had COVID-19 in the past get antibodies after only one dose, it could free up more vaccines for other people who need them, the study published in the National Institutes of Health reported Tuesday.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researchers used blood samples given by health care workers at their hospital, then tested the antibody levels in their blood before and after two COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The doctors then compared antibody levels in those who had COVID-19 with those who have never had the virus, taken between seven and 21 days after each shot.

They found that those who had previously had COVID-19 reported higher levels of antibodies than those who never had COVID-19.

Antibody levels taken before vaccine administration in those who had COVID-19 were similar to those without the virus after their first shot. Also, antibody levels of previously infected patients after their first shot were as high as those from uninfected people in their second shot.

“Overall, individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 developed an antibody response after a single vaccine dose that was comparable to that seen after a two-dose vaccination course administered to individuals without prior infections,” said researcher Dr. Kimia Sobhani. “It appears that a single booster dose given to previously infected individuals offers the same benefit as two doses given to people without prior infection.”

The doctors added that more testing will need to be conducted before they can practice giving one shot to those who had already tested positive for COVID-19.

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