New studies show that one shot of a vaccine can greatly amplify antibody levels in those who have recovered from the coronavirus.
“Nearly 30 million people in the United States — and probably many others whose illnesses were never diagnosed — have been infected with the coronavirus so far. Should these people still be vaccinated?
Two new studies answer that question with an emphatic yes.
In fact, the research suggests that for these people just one dose of the vaccine is enough to turbocharge their antibodies and destroy the coronavirus — and even some more infectious variants.
The results of these new studies are consistent with the findings of two otherspublished over the past few weeks. Taken together, the research suggests that people who have had Covid-19 should be immunized — but a single dose of the vaccine may be enough.
“I think it’s a really strong rationale for why people who were previously infected with Covid should be getting the vaccine,” said Jennifer Gommerman, an immunologist at the University of Toronto who was not involved in the new research.
A person’s immune response to a natural infection is highly variable. Most people make copious amounts of antibodies that persist for many months. But some people who had mild symptoms or no symptoms of Covid-19 produce few antibodies, which quickly fall to undetectable levels.
The vaccines “even the playing field,” Dr. Gommerman said, so that anyone who has recovered from Covid-19 produces enough antibodies to protect against the virus.
The latest study, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, analyzed blood samples from people who have had Covid-19. The findings suggested that their immune systems would have trouble fending off B.1.351, the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.“