Do you need both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine? Duke University expert says yes

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As Wake County prepares to get its most vaccines yet, experts are learning more about how effective the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are in real-life situations. A new study by the CDC takes a closer look at how the vaccine protects people in jobs where they can easily be exposed to the virus.

The vaccines were tested on about 4,000 nurses, police, and other first responders from December to March.

The study showed that two weeks after the first dose, the participants’ risk of infection was reduced by 80 percent. The effectiveness increased to 90 percent among fully vaccinated participants.

“Every day, there is rapid development, which is really good news as we continue to learn more about the vaccine,” said Dr. Emmanuel Walter.

Walter knows a lot about new developments with the vaccine. He is the chief medical officer for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and directs vaccine trials.

The results from the study have some people questioning if a second dose is necessary since the first dose provides a lot of protection.

“I think, for now, if you look at antibody levels of protection, I think a lot of the information that suggested that we need to second dose really came from there. You really get that level of protection in the blood after you get a second dose,” Walter said.

That is why Walter encourages both doses.

“If I had to choose what I would do. I say get the second dose. I think you get some protection after one dose, that is very clear. So, that is very good news, but for extra assurance, for protection, you really need a second dose.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 3 million people have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

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