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Scientists claim those who have recovered from COVID may only need one dose of vaccine

Single dose "would not negatively impact" antibody levels, paper argues.

Image
A vial of COVID-19 vaccine
A vial of COVID-19 vaccine
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty)
Updated: February 5, 2021 - 6:06pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Scientists in a new study are arguing that individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 may need only one shot of the coronavirus vaccine as opposed to two. 

In the study, which has not yet undergone peer review, the New York-based researchers describe "the antibody responses [to the COVID-19 vaccine] in 109 individuals with and without documented pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity."

They claim to have found that "the antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds the titers found in naïve individuals after the second dose." Their research also found higher instances of side effects in individuals who had previously been infected by COVID.

"Changing the policy to give these individuals only one dose of vaccine would not negatively impact on their antibody titers," the scientists argue, also stating that such a policy would "spare [the patients] from unnecessary pain and free up many urgently needed vaccine doses." 

The study is currently undergoing the peer review process.