The barriers are breaking. Step by step we move closer to First Doses First. New results from a small-scale study suggest that people who have had COVID have strong reactions to the first dose and may not need the second dose.
NYTimes: Based on these results, the researchers say, people who have had Covid-19 may need only one shot.
“I think one vaccination should be sufficient,” said Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and an author on the study. “This would also spare individuals from unnecessary pain when getting the second dose and it would free up additional vaccine doses.”
…People who have had Covid seem to be “reacting to the first dose as if it was a second dose,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at the Yale School of Medicine. So one dose is probably “more than enough,” she said.
A study published earlier this month reported that surviving a natural infection provided 83 percent protection from getting infected again over the course of five months. “Giving two doses on top of that appears to be maybe overkill,” she added.
So for the 25 million to 100 million Americans who have already been infected by COVID it may be better for them personally to delay the second dose. In short, a significant fraction of second doses have little to no value. This (unsurprising) finding means that First Doses First is an even better strategy even if we can’t condition doses on previous infection.
Most important, First Doses First gets more people significant immunity faster which is good for the vaccinated and also drives down R which is good for society as a whole, even the unvaccinated.
The Biden administration has been more pro-active than the Trump administration on tests and vaccination and has already made some goods calls on getting more doses out faster. I hope they continue to be bold. We need quick, bold, and decisive action.