People who were previously infected with the novel coronavirus came up with a strong immune response, soon after they were given the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This opened the debate as to whether a single dose will be enough to provide ample protection for this group.
Bodies of these patients also showed that just because they do not have detectable antibodies after recovering from the disease, does not imply that all their protection has been lost.
This study was personally conducted and published by the Ziv Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University. It revealed that the 17 staff members employed at Ziv, had previously contracted the coronavirus. This occurred in the past 10 months or less. Before getting the vaccination, these patients either showed or developed antibodies, regardless of the presence of detectable ones from the virus.
A total of 514 staff members from Ziv took part in the study. However, the majority of them had not contracted the virus. The antibody levels of all the participants, regardless of their diagnosis, were measured before and after the vaccination was administered.
Prof. Michael Edelstein, who belongs to the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at the Bar Ilan University, said that these findings can help countries in making informed decision regarding their vaccine policy. He was the one responsible for leading the study and believes that it opens up the debate of whether or not a single dose of vaccine is sufficient. He wanted this debate to be concluded on behalf of the 107 million people across the world who were previously diagnosed with the virus.
In a few countries, Edelstein believes, the question of whether one dose of the vaccine is enough or not will be very important. He pointed out that countries that are struggling to administer the vaccine to the entire population, will find this information especially useful.
However, Edelstein made sure to clarify that he does not believe that people who have never contracted the virus, should be inoculated only once. In his opinion, they should go for the two routine doses to protect themselves from the virus.
As of now, the United Kingdom has been making efforts to inoculate its citizens over the age of 70, along with frontline healthcare workers. All these concerned people have been given at least the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Britain has also decided to increase the time taken to administer the two doses. Pfizer recommended that the 21-day period be extended to 12 weeks. This will also help in giving the first dose of the vaccine to a larger number of people.
Edelstein observed that the United Kingdom is not only supporting the administration of one dose, but is also advocating the delay of the second dose.
Israel, on the other hand, has decided to follow the original Pfizer protocol.
The country has had over 710,000 cases of the coronavirus. Up until now, around 3.7 million citizens have been given at least the first dose of the vaccine.