Do not vaccinate people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2

Do not vaccinate people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2


According to the Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO), people who survived SARS-CoV-2 infection and initially recovered should not receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This third update provides the corresponding vaccination recommendations, published by STIKO Friday in Berlin (Epid Ball 2021; 12: 3-15).

The committee justifies its recent recommendation for “immunity after previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and in view of the continuing shortage of vaccines”. According to current evidence, one can assume a protective effect “for at least six to eight months” after surviving an infection.

For this reason, vaccination should be considered for those who have recovered “six months at the earliest” afterwards. Physicians should take into account known priority groups.

One vaccine dose is sufficient

In addition, the vaccine dose is sufficient. The second vaccination dose could not increase the antibody titer in these people. The recommendation says: “It cannot be said whether a second vaccination for COVID-19 is necessary and when it will be necessary at a later time.”

It is known that the vaccines available so far have to be given twice. The first single-dose vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, was approved by Johnson & Johnson in the European Union only on Thursday. It was not clear recently when the vaccine would actually be available in this country.

Doctors should also wait at least six months for vaccinated people who have had a “laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection” after the first dose of vaccination. For them, the second dose should be given at least six months after infection.

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The maximum time interval of AstraZeneca vaccines

STIKO has also adopted the recommendation that the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S (AZD1222) vaccine should “go to the maximum for this period of time (twelve weeks)” to administer the second dose. In this way “can achieve the best preventive effect”.

It is now also official that this vaccine is recommended with no age limit of 18 years. STIKO announced this change in advance at the beginning of March.

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