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Israel May Vaccinate Recovered COVID Patients, 1 Dose May Be Enough

Israel’s Health Ministry is considering vaccinating those who have already recovered from the coronavirus, contrary to the existing policy, Channel 12 News reported.

At least 861 Israelis contracted a second case of the coronavirus three or more months after recovering from the first case, recent data shows.

Health Ministry officials believe that coronavirus carriers who are asymptomatic or only develop light symptoms may not develop long-term immunity. Additionally, it’s possible that being infected with one virus variant does not provide full protection from other variants. An Israeli who recovered from the coronavirus in August was reinfected with the South African variant last month but fortunately is asymptomatic. However, a patient in France was recently reinfected with the South African variant and is now seriously ill.

Meanwhile, researchers from Bar Ilan University and Ziv Medical Center presented preliminary evidence that people previously infected with the virus had a strong immune response to one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of the period of time that passed since they were infected and whether they previously had detectable antibodies.

In the study conducted on 514 staff members at Ziv Medical Center, the 17 staff members who had been diagnosed with the virus between one and ten months before being inoculated with the first dose all developed such an effective immune response that it’s questionable whether a second dose is necessary.

“This finding can help countries make informed decisions regarding vaccine policy – for instance, whether those previously infected should be vaccinated in priority and, if so, with how many doses,” said the head of the study, Prof. Michael Edelstein of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University.

“It also offers reassurance that not having detectable antibodies after being infected does not necessarily mean that protection following infection is lost.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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