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Single Pfizer/BioNTech dose induces strong immune response to COVID-19

Study finds 99% of people generated a robust immune response against COVID-19 after single vaccine dose

Pfizer HQ building

A new study, conducted by researchers from Sheffield and Oxford Universities, has found that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine induces a ‘robust’ immune response against COVID-19.

The study, which was supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, examined how the immune system responds to COVID-19 after one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in those who have been infected by COVID-19 before and those who haven’t.

The researchers found that 99% of people generated a robust immune response against COVID-19 after one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

According to the study – also known as the PITCH study – one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine protects against severe disease and showed that protection was bolstered after two doses of the jab.

For people who had been previously infected with COVID-19, the study found these participants showed higher T cell and antibody responses after a single Pfizer/BioNTech dose compared to those who had received one dose of the vaccine but had not had COVID-19.

In addition, researchers discovered that among those who had previously been infected with COVID-19, the T cell response expanded following vaccination to recognise more regions of the COVID-19 spike protein.

‘This means, even in those already infected, vaccination from the Pfizer jab provides better protection and an enhanced immune response to COVID-19 than the immune response from natural infection,’ the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said in a statement.

However, the DHSC reiterated the importance of receiving a second dose of the vaccine, as it is still not known how long T cell and antibody responses last following infection.

“The PITCH study presents further proof that vaccines provide excellent protection against the virus. Thanks to the incredible efforts of our vaccination programme, over half of all adults in the UK have had the jab, and we remain on track to offer all adults a vaccine by the end of July,” said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

“A second vaccine jab is crucial for longer-term protection, regardless of whether you have previously had COVID-19 or not, and I urge everyone to make sure they attend their second appointment – to keep themselves and those around them safe,” he added.

On Sunday, the UK government announced that more than 30 million people in the UK have received their first vaccine against COVID-19.

More than 3.5 million people in the UK have received their second vaccine dose, and the UK is on track to meet the target of offering all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable their first vaccine by 15 April.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

29th March 2021

From: Healthcare

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