Vaccine study looks at how COVID-19 survivors are impacted by shot

As more people become fully vaccinated, researchers are working to learn what the proper vaccine dosage is for those who already have some immunity to COVID-19.

COVID-19 survivors have antibodies to the virus, which is why researchers at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles are suggesting having COVID-19 is essentially like receiving the first dose of Pfizer.

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That would be those who have COVID-19 and recover may only need a booster dose of the vaccine.

“Since having the infection is an immunizing event, there’s always been a little interest in people who then subsequently become vaccinated may have a higher immune response from that first shot which is like a second shot for them,” said Dr. Thomas Huth with Reid Health.

Cedar Sinai studied more than a thousand health care workers. Thirty five people had COVID-19 and received just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. More than 200 never had COVID-19 and received the two doses.

Antibody tests take three times throughout the student showed that levels in the two groups were similar.

Huth said even with the study the recommendation still is to get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He said while he doesn’t see the study changing current recommendations, there could be some additional guidance on ways to administer the vaccines in the future.

“In England they give the shots 3 months apart to get more first shots out and that was not something that was studied by the vaccine makers,” Huth said.

It could take years before enough is known between the effects of one dose versus two doses, Huth said.

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.