Doctor pushes back against study suggesting COVID-19 survivors may not need 2nd vaccine dose

A new study finds that COVID-19 survivors only need one dose of vaccine. But some Long Island health experts say they disagree with those findings.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2021, 11:22 PM

Updated 1,171 days ago

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A new study finds that COVID-19 survivors only need one dose of vaccine. But a Long Island health expert says they disagree with those findings.
The new study, published on MedRxiv.org, is confusing those who have survived the virus, including Nancy Roesler from Hampton Bays, who had a bad case of COVID-19 late last year. She's gotten her first dose of the vaccine and is waiting for her second.
"It probably took me at least a month to get close to normal," says Roesler. "I don't really still feel normal because I still feel like my lungs are a bit damaged."
The study suggests COVID-19 survivors have higher antibody levels naturally and after the first dose of the vaccine. It's led some researchers to say they may not need a second dose.
One of the study's authors said, "I think one vaccination should be sufficient ...this would also spare individuals from unnecessary pain when getting the second dose and it would free up additional vaccine doses."
But local doctors say people should still follow the current guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization both say you need both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
"We are not sure how long the natural antibodies -- the antibodies that were built up in response to the original infection -- how long they will last," says Dr. Tochi Iroku-Mailze, of Northwell Health Family Medicine. "The first dose of the vaccine will give you some modicum of protection but the second dose is the one that really takes care of it."
A second study also found similar results in health care workers who had already had the virus and got the first vaccine dose.


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