COVID-19 Vaccines Likely A Double Dose Procedure

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The two frontrunners in the race for a Covid-19 Vaccine, University of Oxford-AstraZeneca Plc partnership and Moderna Inc., are both in the final-stage of testing with two doses.

Michael Kinch, a vaccine specialist from Washington University said, “A one-shot vaccine would be ideal, but the first vaccines are highly unlikely to meet this very high threshold.  As we hopefully move from whether there will be a vaccine to how to apply this, logistics are going to become the absolute most important topic.”

In the study of more than 1,000 participants receiving the Oxford vaccine candidate, they had the strongest immune response in the 10 participants who received two doses. They note that while some people may receive everything they need in terms of immune system protection from just the one dose, the sure bet is to focus on two doses for future testing and implementation.

Sarah Gilbert, a vaccinologist from Oxford said, “We are actually really pleased we get a stronger immune response with two doses than we can with one,” and, “We don’t know what we’re aiming at. We don’t know how strong the immune response needs to be to protect people.”

The issue with this two dose or two shot system is the logistics.  Producing enough of the vaccine for everyone is challenging enough with a single dose vaccine.  Another issue some experts worry about is that people may go back to “normal” life after the initial dose and in that time become infected and pass along the virus to other people. 

Tony Moody, an immunologist at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, says that almost all standard vaccines are a double-shot procedure.  Ideally a single shot would be better as it could be distributed more easily, but as Moody notes, “We are all working to get to those better vaccines, but having something effective soon is the top priority.”

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