A growing number of researchers agree people who have already had COVID-19 need only 1 shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines for sufficient protection. Giving these people a second dose would be a waste of vaccine, they say.
Now, a new study finds more evidence to support the 1-dose theory.
According to Medical News Today, researchers at the Penn Institute of Immunology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, found contracting COVID-19 not only provides antibody protection against future infection but also generates long-lived immune cells known as memory B cells.
These memory B cells might be the key to preventing infections from variants. While neutralizing antibodies wane with time, the B cells step up to the plate to produce more disease-fighting antibody producing cells, says Medical News Today.
"Memory B cells are a strong predictor of future antibody responses which is why it's vital to measure B cell responses to these vaccines," said E. John Wherry, a professor at the Institute of Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania. "This effort to examine B cells is important for understanding long-term protection and the ability to respond to variants."
Wherry and his team of researchers discovered the B cells in people who never had COVID-19 peaked only after their second dose of the vaccines, while those who had already been infected had peak B cell levels after their primary dose. Their study appears in the journal Science Immunology.
This new research supports previous studies that demonstrated 1 dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines might provide sufficient protection.
"For those who've been infected and recovered, which is tens of millions of people, they'll only need 1 shot, which will make the vaccine go even further," said Dr. James Hildreth, a prominent immunologist and CEO of Meharry Medical College, according to Business Insider.
Hildreth was on the Food and Drug Administration committee that gave emergency use authorization to the current vaccines, including the 1-dose Johnson & Johnson jab.
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