As the first Covid-19 vaccine doses roll out across the country, a question has emerged among scientists and public-health experts: Should people who have already had the virus consider deferring vaccination?
Last week, the first doses from Pfizer-BioNTech made their way to health-care workers at facilities across the country. Then on Friday, Moderna garnered emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA for its vaccine, began shipping doses over the weekend.
Both vaccines are expected to be in short supply for months, and as distribution extends beyond health-care workers to vulnerable adults and essential workers, some scientists say focusing on people who have never been infected and don’t have protective antibodies could help communities develop herd immunity faster. But doing so would likely come with challenges: Vaccinating according to prior infection status among potential recipients would need to be done in a way that doesn’t result in slowdowns or inequities in distribution, public health experts say.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be safe in people who were previously infected with the virus, and infectious-disease experts and vaccinologists recommend people who have had Covid-19 get vaccinated.
The question is whether there would be any benefit to the larger population if previously infected people waited. Covid-19 reinfections have occurred but are rare, especially in the first 90 days after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some studies have shown that coronavirus antibodies wane within two or three months of illness, while others have shown antibodies may initially decline but can persist for up to at least six months.
The federal committee advising the CDC on vaccine distribution outlined so-called “sub-prioritization” guidelines for possible vaccine shortages during the rollout to health-care workers. Guidelines include giving workers who have had Covid-19 in the previous 90 days the choice to delay vaccination until near the end of the 90-day period “to facilitate vaccination of those [health-care personnel] who remain susceptible to infection.”
The committee advising the CDC also noted that it isn’t considered dangerous for those who had a previous infection to get the vaccine and recommended against testing for antibodies before getting vaccinated.
One option he suggested: To make sure any vaccines not used on people who have been infected are used on others in the same priority group or higher, so the effect of efforts to prioritize isn’t diluted.
Volunteer For A Vaccine Trial
The Medical Group of South Florida is collaborating with Health Awareness on a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Research study. The clinical trials are conducted in our Jupiter office and are a necessary step towards the development of finding a safe and effective vaccine.
We are looking for participants 18 years and older. If you or someone you know is interested, please call (561) 556-4733. Clinical Research participants are typically compensated for their time and also receive all study-related treatment and study-related medical care at no cost. Health insurance is not required and participation is voluntary.
Help us as we work towards finding a Vaccine for COVID-19 and call (561) 556-4733 today! VOLUNTEER HERE: https://bit.ly/2VaBrDL