An Imperial College study of the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 published on Friday had found that people who have not previously contracted the virus and have received the first of two doses of the shot are still susceptible to the mutations of the virus, such as the South African and Kent variants.
The research was based on immune responses of UK healthcare workers that received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. It turned out that those who already had mild or even asymptomatic infection are significantly more protected against the virus strains.
“This study highlights the importance of getting second doses of the vaccine rolled out to protect the population,” said Professor Rosemary Boyton, who led the study. The findings are important for those countries that chose the strategy of giving the first dose to as many people as possible, prolonging the wait for the second shot.