Researchers at Northwestern University’s Policy Research Institute say a new study has indicated that a two-dose dose of the COVID-19 vaccine does not provide sufficient protection against the virus in people who previously had mild or asymptomatic cases of the disease. , which means that people are still advised to get both doses of the vaccine.
According to a press release from the researchers, the study had examined whether people who had previous mild or asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus could achieve a high level of immunity with just one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, rather than the two doses. recommended. .
The study did not investigate the differences between mild cases of COVID and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in terms of the robustness of the immune response.
The researchers say the study shows the importance of receiving coronavirus vaccines, and the treatments are the best way to move towards herd immunity and make progress toward ending the pandemic.
“Our data suggest that the path to herd immunity is really through vaccination,” said Professor Thomas McDade, who was one of the people who helped put the study together.
The study found that one dose “does not provide adequate protection for most people who had mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19,” and that those people must still receive both doses of treatment.
With more vaccination clinics emerging in Illinois, health officials hope to make further progress in dosing and reducing case rates. NBC 5’s Jen DeSalvo reports.
The study enrolled nearly 10,000 people in the Chicagoland area, according to the news release. The researchers used two different types of antibody tests for the study, one that provides an accurate measure of previous exposure to the coronavirus to help identify those who had less severe COVID cases, and the other provides a measure of the level of immunity. protective. against the virus.
The study found that mild or asymptomatic COVID cases “generate lower levels of protective immunity” than those generated by both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
“These mild, asymptomatic cases don’t provide much protection, and that will slow progress toward herd immunity (without a vaccine),” McDade said.
Individuals who had survived more severe cases, including those that required hospitalization, generated a stronger immune response with one dose, according to the researchers.
“We are finding that people who had clinically confirmed severe COVID cases are responding to the first dose of vaccine with a very strong antiviral response and, again, with a lot of protective immunity,” McDade said.
The researchers say that receiving both doses of the COVID vaccine is the best way to ensure protection against the virus itself and more severe results in those who contract the virus, and that the study is further proof of those arguments.
“It’s really important that people achieve that higher level of protection that they can only get with both doses of the vaccine for the vast majority of people,” McDade said.