Studies suggest people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus may produce 10 to 45 times the antibodies after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, compared with those who haven’t had COVID-19. The research is yet to be peer-reviewed. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Studies suggest people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus may produce 10 to 45 times the antibodies after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, compared with those who haven’t had COVID-19. The research is yet to be peer-reviewed. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

People infected with COVID-19 may need just one dose of vaccine, studies say

People who have had COVID-19 appear to produce 10 to 45 more times the antibodies after 1st vaccine dose

Scientists at the National Advisory Committee on Immunization are reviewing research that suggests people who have been infected with COVID-19 can turbocharge their antibodies with just one dose of a vaccine.

The committee is “actively reviewing evidence on the protection offered by one dose for those previously infected, and whether a second dose continues to be necessary,” says a statement from the panel.

Caroline Quach-Thanh said the committee is “debating” the question of how many vaccine doses someone who has been infected with COVID-19 requires.

“France and Quebec have said only one,” said Quach-Thanh, chair of the committee, in an email.

Studies have suggested people who have had COVID-19 may produce the required antibody response with just one dose of a vaccine.

A letter in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month says the question of whether one dose is enough “requires investigation.” It’s written by 32 researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York after conducting a small study.

It suggests people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus may produce 10 to 45 times as many antibodies after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines compared with someone who hasn’t had COVID-19. The research is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Quach-Thanh said data shows that the response to the first dose of vaccine is strong for those who have been infected with the virus.

“Like a booster dose,” she said.

Those who have been infected and get a second shot may also have stronger side-effects, such as fever, aches and feeling tired, which are signs their immune system is already primed, Quach-Thanh said.

“The question that remains is: is that true for everyone or at least for the vast majority?”

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, said early data from around the world suggest people who have had a lab-confirmed positive test for COVID-19 get a good response from just one dose of a vaccine.

“The jury is still out but more and more it is looking like they get a really strong booster effect from a single dose and a second booster may not be necessary,” she said.

Quebec’s public health director, Horacio Arruda, told a news conference earlier this week that immunization experts believe a single dose of vaccine, when given three months after recovery from the disease, provides the same amount of immunity as two doses.

A second dose, Arruda explained, is not recommended for people who have had COVID-19 because “it doesn’t give more immunity, and it brings more significant adverse effects,” such as flu-like symptoms.

Prof. Fiona Brinkman of Simon Fraser University’s molecular biology and biochemistry department said the number of antibodies produced by a person may depend on how severe their COVID-19 infection was.

That does not mean people need to get an antibody test done before getting a vaccine, although that may change, she added.

“Right now, the policy is that we’re just vaccinating everybody and doing that first dose.”

However, Quach-Thanh warned that the presence of antibodies is not, in itself, a sign of protection and they are all not created equal.

“Some people without much antibodies will have protection, while others with antibodies may not be that well protected,” she said.

Brinkman said it’s also possible that there may be a difference in the kind of antibodies produced after a COVID-19 infection and a vaccine.

“The most important thing is to have these certain antibodies — what we call neutralizing antibodies — that we really want,” she said, adding the vaccines have been shown to produce them.

The experts said there is no harm in those who have been infected with COVID-19 getting both shots.

The statement from the committee said it is also evaluating how long someone previously infected with COVID-19 could wait before getting a vaccine, based on emerging evidence.

Brinkman said one of the concerns researchers have is how long immunity might last.

“This disease literally hasn’t been around long enough to allow us to appropriately assess how long you have antibodies and an immune response that will be effective against this virus, if you’ve either been vaccinated or you’ve had the disease.”

Researchers said it could also potentially mean that the vaccine can be delivered into arms faster because a number of people may only need one dose of the shot.

“It really is good news,” Brinkman said. “If anything, it’s a good thing.”

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Port Alberni collect garbage in the Scotiabank parking lot on Saturday, April 17 as part of a Community Clean Up. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s community street clean-up a success

Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre plans ocean clean-up for April 24 and 25

Wounded Warriors runners run along Beaver Creek Road towards the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department hall. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s Wounded Warriors stage solo run

Vancouver Island-wide event was cancelled, but Maria Marciano and Dave Nesbitt ran anyway

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

Winston Joseph, known as Mr. Positive Port Alberni, leads the 2019 Canada Day parade with his wife Sheila. Winston, who was integral in starting the July 1 folkfest, died April 11, 2021 at the age of 89. (PHOTO COURTESY SONJA DRINKWATER)
Community remembers Winston Joseph with Canada Day parade in April

‘Mr. Positive Port Alberni’ started Canada Day folk fest, lived a life of service and faith

Grade 5 Wood Elementary Students cycling on the powerline trail. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Wood School bicycles, equipment worth $8,000 stolen

Equipment was stored at Echo Fieldhouse in Port Alberni

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

Club Phoenix Fitness in Langford is the first Island business to be ordered closed by the provincial workplace closure order put into effect April 11. It will be closed until at least April 29. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Langford gym first Island business to be closed by public health order

Workplace closure order can now close businesses with three or more COVID-19 cases

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Alex Mah of Chemainus spends a sunny day at Kin Beach reading to daughter Beatrice Mah. 3. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read