Why Two Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna?

Why Two Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna?

Many patients are asking why two doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna are necessary. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are two-step regimens. Although the mRNA vaccine is unique, the science behind the two-step method is proven. The first dose provides a cursory response in the immediate, and the second dose provides an eloquent fine tuning—and each is reliant on the other for proper response.

What Happens After Your First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine?

When the immune system first encounters the spike protein (or any foreign “antigen”), it calls upon the immune system. The surveillance cells are called “white blood cells” – (they appear white under a microscope). There are two classes of these white blood cells (WBC) involved in the immune response: B-cells and T-cells. B-cells (plasma cells) primarily focus on making antiBody. These cells are explosive, recognizing the antigen and fervently making neutralizing antibodies to stop the virus from entering human cells and reproducing (and making us sick(er)). Initial antibody response can be measured in blood and is often quite profound but also short-lived, lasting a few weeks.  When monitored by blood tests, often there is an impressive response which wanes with time. The news is littered with reports, there are plenty of personal anecdotes of persons contracting COVID-19, only to find antibody response had become undetectable.

Why Two Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna?

The booster dose (the second dose) fine-tunes the immune system. While the first reactionary antibody response was antibody and B-cell mediated, the booster response is primed by a well-healed relative of the B-cell; it is T-cell mediated. Now, these T-cells take time to recognize and plan a route of antigen (COVID-19 virus destruction).  These T cells are primed to find the pathogen and set a course of their destruction by recognizing the intruder, engulfing it, and destroying it. These T cells act as surveyors and remain within the body for years. It is these cells that provide the immunity most associated with vaccines. The booster dose unleashes T cells but also calls upon the first responders, the B cells, to pulse out antibodies and select those B cells that best neutralize the pathogen. It remains essential to not skip your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for Pfizer and Moderna.

Should Pregnant Women Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Prevention, as always, is key. Pregnant women in the United States are being given the option of the novel COVID-19 vaccine. Although pregnant women were excluded from the vaccine clinical trials as they have been performed, the CDC has stated that “the mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19” and “are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant” The CDC also added that mRNA vaccines “are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant,” the CDC added.

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It is important to speak with your physician about the best direction to take for your individual needs. If you have questions about your fertility or having difficulty trying to conceive,  please contact us for an initial consultation. We are here to help.