Can You Be Protected from Covid by a Single Dose of the Pfizer Vaccine?

Since the dawn of its distribution, many have wondered if a single dose vaccine option for Pfizer and Moderna could be possible; When Johnson & Johnson came out with their single dose option, the questioning continued, as well as if there was a possibility to have a double dose of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

After some members of congress urged a single dose option in order to speed up vaccinations, based on the research thus far scientists are unsure that a single dose regimen of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine would be effective and fear it would leave recipients at risk due to their effectiveness being around 50% with one dose. Because the vaccine was designed for two doses, there was not any research done on the long-term protection of just a single dose. Peter Marks, director of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) states “it is essential that vaccines be used as authorized by the FDA in order to prevent COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths.”

Other scientists counter this by agreeing with congress that in offering a single dose option, more people would be more likely to get vaccinated and the current goal is to have as many people receiving the vaccine as possible. They also cite the preliminary studies to show how effective a single shot can be. In all this, Pfizer has previously stated that they do not have single dose data and has not offered any more statements on the matter. Moderna, on the other hand, stated “in ongoing clinical studies and assessment of real-world evidence, we do and will look at lots of secondary matters, including potentially this question,” in regards to a single-dose regimen.

Alternatively, could having a double-dose regimen with the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine provide more protection? The United Kingdom has begun a trial, based on the results from a study on this vaccine by researchers at the University of Kentucky, for a 2-dose shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at 72% with just one dose, this study is trying to measure the effectiveness of a booster shot. Johnson & Johnson themselves are confident in the effectiveness of their vaccine, but are looking to study this as well during a third testing phase with 300,000 patients.

Overall, the idea of a single dose Pfizer or Moderna, or a double dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine have their own pros and cons and should be researched thoroughly before making changes, but the uniting factor is trying to get the most amount of people vaccinated as effectively and efficiently as possible as COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the world. As of now, as recipients, the best thing to do is to get vaccinated based on the FDA approved use authorization if you choose to get vaccinated and to continue to practice precautionary measures until you are fully protected.