A team of scientists has shown that a single-dose COVID19 shot might be enough for people who have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and have acquired immunity. Experts from the AIG hospital have conducted a study on 260 health care workers who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine to examine their immunological memory responses. The study has found that people who have been infected with COVID19 in the past have shown greater levels of antibody response after a single dose of the shot as compared to people who have not been infected with the disease before. The authors of the study have said that memory T cell response as well has been potentially higher among people who have been infected with the virus in the past as compared to people with no prior infection.
The study authors have said that memory T and B cell responses along with greater antibody response after a single dose of shot that is given 3 to 6 months after recovery from the disease might be at par with two doses of vaccine regime among people who have tested positive for COVID19 in the past. The study has been peer-reviewed by experts. Experts have published the findings of the study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. One of the co-authors of the study has said that people who have contracted the virus in the past and have recovered from it might not require taking the second dose of the vaccine as they can produce strong antibody and memory cell response with a single dose of the vaccine only. Experts have said that it will help in the situation when there is a vaccine shortage going on in the country. The authors of the study have said with saved doses, a large portion of the population can be vaccinated. Once the country attains the necessary number of people immunized for achieving herd immunity, people who have been given only a single dose should be vaccinated with the second dose of the shot.
Health experts have said that at this time, authorities should focus on the extensive distribution of available doses of shots and vaccinate the maximum number of people with at least one dose of the shot. In a country like India, the rate of vaccination has reduced during the second wave of the pandemic when the cases of COVID19 have been shooting up rapidly. In the country, when the growth of test positivity rate has been 5 percent, the rate of vaccination has reduced to 1.4 percent, said the experts. The lead author of the study has said that health authorities need to change their vaccination strategy on the basis of scientific evidence. Experts who have been involved in the study have said that officials need to have the objective to vaccinate a larger group of people in the shortest period. Health experts are now focusing on preventing the third wave that might derail their efforts to end the pandemic. As per the report, at present only 3.5 percent of the total people in India have been fully vaccinated against COVID19.