For people who have bared their arms for a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, the message from public health officials has been clear: Get the second shot if you want full protection.
But an emerging body of evidence suggests that there may be an exception to that rule. If you’ve already battled a coronavirus infection,it’s possible that one dose may suffice.
“This has been rumored for a long time, that people with preexisting disease only need a single dose to get really long-lasting immunity,” said Dr. George Rutherford, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UC San Francisco.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses given a few weeks apart. The first dose essentially primes the immune system to recognize and attack the virus’s telltale spike protein, while the second one prompts the immune system to produce a flood of antibodies.
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