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Why is a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine needed?

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 55% of adult Americans already have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, although recent findings estimate that 8% miss their second appointments.

Dr Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, told Fox News that the issue was probably less about vaccine fluctuations and more that people were trapped in their busy lives.

“Whenever you need more than one dose, you follow it,” Poland said in an interview. “People are busy, life is busy. I mean obviously they got the first dose, they’re not anti-vaccine and then various factors,”

; such as the accumulation of travel-related meetings, but also media-driven misinformation. which can take a fee for complying with vaccination, he said.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, focuses on the responses of 1,000 American adults who were asked about vaccines in February. One-fifth of those surveyed told the Cornell-led research team that they believed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, both doses, provided strong protection after just one stroke, while 36 percent said they were unsure. Less than half said they believed the shots provided strong protection a week or two after the second dose, according to a news release posted on EurekAlert.org.


Poland argues that the general public may misinterpret media headlines reporting the effectiveness of the vaccine after a single dose.

“The media has some guilt for headlines that read ‘80% efficacy after a single dose,’ and that’s why people think, ‘Oh, well, 80% is something like a lot of other vaccines, I’m fine,'” he said. “And the title refutes the reality of the fact that we don’t know what that efficacy would be in the face of the new viral variants, we don’t know how long immunity would last. [after a single dose]. “

White House Coronavirus Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a briefing on Friday that the percentage of Americans who do not respond to their second vaccination appointments falls within what is commonly seen in others. vaccines requiring multiple doses.

“So far, 8%, although you’d like to see 100% adherence, 8% is in the realm of what you see with other multi-dose vaccines,” Fautsi said, citing numerous studies later pointing to “dramatic differences” in protection. provided after the second dose, compared to just getting the initial shot.

For example, Israeli researchers previously found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 57% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 14-20 days after the first dose, while the efficacy of the vaccine increased to 94% at least a week after the second dose. Protection against documented infection increased from 46% to 92% after the second dose, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Similarly, individual results published in the same journal for Moderna jab show a significant increase in the T-cell response of the spike protein after the second dose.

“Once again, another important difference,” Foci said of the findings he made during Friday’s briefing.


Fauci also stressed that immunocompromised individuals, such as those battling autoimmune diseases or cancer, complete a full two-dose series if they receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

“This is really important because with organ transplants, especially with different immunosuppressants and cancer patients, there are a lot of people in society suffering from glucocorticoids for autoimmune diseases who may not get a good enough response after the first dose, and we absolutely want them. to get the second dose, “Fautsi said.

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Dr. An Liu, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told Fox News that the second doses offered many benefits, such as increased levels of antibodies that give a longer lasting response, as well as more specific, refined antibodies.

“If a few people miss the second dose here and there, it may not have a big impact, but if many people do, it could interfere with the long-term immunity of the herd that we are trying to achieve.”

Fox News’s Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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