Results from a new study suggest that people who have recovered from the coronavirus may only need one vaccine dose to develop the same degree of immunity as those who get two doses.
As The New York Times reports, Florian Krammer, author of the study and a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said he believed one shot would be enough for people who have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19.
“This would also spare individuals from unnecessary pain when getting the second dose, and it would free up additional vaccine doses,” said Krammer.
Krammer’s study found that coronavirus survivors had far higher antibody levels after receiving two doses of the vaccine when compared to those who did not contract COVID-19. The study of 231 vaccinated people included 83 who had contracted the virus.
The study also found that people who previously had the coronavirus were more likely to experience unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches and chills after receiving their first vaccine dose.
Though some scientists agree with Krammer’s assertion, others are not convinced, the Times notes.
The director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Immunology, E. John Wherry, told the newspaper that he would like to see data that suggested the antibodies observed in the study actually prevented the coronavirus from replicating.
“Just because an antibody binds to a part of the virus does not mean it’s going to protect you from being infected,” said Wherry.
Some health care officials have argued that the U.S. should prioritize getting the first shot of the vaccine into as many arms as possible.
But Anthony FauciAnthony FauciBloomberg: More Americans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine than have tested positive Biden officials defend two-dose strategy amid fears of variants Watch live: White House coronavirus response team holds briefing MORE, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, has said getting a second dose should be prioritized.
“The first priority will always be to get the people who’ve gotten their first doses to get their second dose,” Fauci said.
The Biden administration has maintained that two doses of the vaccine should be administered, though it has also urged health care providers to not be overly cautious by holding second doses of the vaccine in reserve.