Do You Really Need 2 Vaccine Doses if You Already Had Covid-19?

France is the first country to vaccinate people who previously had Covid-19 with only one dose

Elad Simchayoff
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readFeb 16, 2021

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Photo: CDC on Unsplash

In many countries, the demand for Covid-19 vaccines greatly outweighs the supply. This has been especially apparent in Europe: Late purchasing, a slow rollout, and problems with distribution have caused the European vaccine campaign to undergo a very shaky start.

France has had an even more troubling vaccine rollout than some of its European neighbors. With a current ratio of 4.12 vaccines per 100 people, France is behind the EU’s average. It trails countries like Germany, Spain, and Italy, and it’s especially far behind its neighbor, the U.K.

The French rollout has been criticized by the media and has faced a growing loss of faith from its citizens. To begin with, the French public was less inclined and relatively skeptical toward the vaccines, but even those who wished to receive a vaccine have sometimes found centers closed because there weren’t enough available doses. Some experts referred to it as a “fiasco.”

France has been seeking a safe way to boost its vaccination campaign and allow more people to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible. This is, naturally, a goal shared by many nations. The U.K., for example, recently took controversial steps in order to make do with the vaccine doses it has. It allowed people to delay the second dose and mix vaccines on rare occasions, stoking debate and criticism from parts of the scientific community.

France has now found a different approach, and it is actually one that many experts agree with.

When it comes to vaccines, France is lagging. Photo: OurWorldInData

On February 12, the French Haute Autorité de Santé (High Authority of Health) released a statement announcing two changes in the local protocol.

  1. A person who previously tested positive for Covid-19 — whether with or without symptoms — will be considered “protected” for a period of between three to six months post-infection as opposed to three months in the original guidelines.

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Elad Simchayoff
Medium Coronavirus Blog

I love writing about what I love. Israeli/British. Father, husband, dog person. Support me by joining Medium via this link: https://eladsi.medium.com/membership