The second dose of the Covid vaccine is required for full immunity, says the infectious illness specialist

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According to Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is critical to creating longer and complete immunity as well as preventing variants of the virus.

“We need to know that this is a two-dose vaccine,” Offit told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith. “The second dose of the Pfizer or Modern vaccine increases it dramatically, inducing the type of cells that suggest you have longer long-term memory, which means the vaccine would last a few years. I think if we humans who got only one dose of the vaccine that gives you shorter and less complete immunity will only lead to variants. “

His comments came after a recent study suggested that the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine could be delayed as the first offered high protection, according to a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

To date, more than 15 million people in the US have received both shots of a two-dose Covid vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 25 million additional people in the country have received their first vaccination shot.

Moderna said last month that it plans to test a booster shot of its Covid vaccine a year after the first two-dose immunization.

“If you get a booster shot of this virus, which is the most common virus in circulation and produces more cross-reactive antibodies … you don’t necessarily have to load up with another vaccine when a variant reaches the point of being completely resistant to immunity, then we have to develop the second generation vaccine, “Offit said. “Right now, it could mean a booster shot of the vaccines we’ve already made.”

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