LONDON – Will one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine protect me?
Yes, but not as much as if you had both doses. Experts recommend getting the full vaccine, especially with the emergence of disturbing coronavirus mutations such as the delta variant first identified in India.
The COVID-19 vaccines being deployed around the world have been developed to target the original version of the virus detected in late 2019. Although they appear to work against newer versions, there is concern that the injections will eventually lose their effectiveness if the variants evolve sufficiently.
With the delta variant, a study by British researchers found that people were well protected when they received both doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. But with just one dose, the protection was drastically reduced.
To stem the spread of the delta variant in the UK, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently delayed lifting the remaining restrictions so more people receive the two full doses.
Health officials are also concerned about the dozens of countries that still do not have enough supplies to distribute second doses on schedule.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said single-dose vaccinations would not be enough to stop epidemics fueled by new variants and people should maintain social distancing and other measures until more of the population is fully immunized.
The second dose of a two-dose vaccine is critical because that is what “really gives the immune system a boost so the antibody response is very strong,” says Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO.
The AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them to: [email protected] Read more here:
What should I know about the delta variant?
Can you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?
Why do some people experience side effects after COVID-19 vaccines?
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