Why is the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine so important?

Medical experts have recommended getting both doses of the COVID vaccine to prevent getting infected.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one can be considered “fully vaccinated” only after they take the second dose of the vaccine.

But why is the second dose of the COVID vaccine so important? According to AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria, the first dose of the vaccine does not produce protective immunity but prepares the immune system to fight against COVID-19 infection.

It is the second dose that triggers the immune system to produce a large number of antibodies, resulting in cell-mediated immunity. It also stimulates the memory cells so that the body remembers this injection for the long term and helps produce antibodies quickly in case of reinfection.

Both doses of the vaccine are therefore essential to get maximum protection from COVID-19.

Once you are fully vaccinated, CDC mentions you can:

*Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people of any age

*Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness

However, it is recommended you still avoid medium or large gatherings.

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