UMD School of Medicine study: COVID-19 survivors may only need one vaccine shot

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine say people who have recovered from COVID-19 may only need one shot of the vaccines currently authorized, which could aid in the crippling vaccine shortage.

The school studied 59 health care workers and demonstrated that those who had previously been infected with the virus had a robust immune response after just one shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. In the study, the authors suggest that information, if verified by others, could lead to people recovered from COVID-19 either getting just one shot or being placed in a lower priority group for the vaccine given their natural immunity.

READ MORE: DC police investigating person who offered to sell COVID-19 vaccine

"At all time points tested, HCW (health care workers) with prior COVID-19 infection showed statistically significant higher antibody titers of binding and functional antibody compared to HCW without prior COVID-19 infection (p<.0001for each of the time points tested)," the study's abstract reads.

Dr. Anthony Harris, one of the study's authors and a professor at the school of medicine, said, "We feel that our data is one important piece of information. It needs to be replicated obviously by others, but one important piece of data that could help guide how to allocate the shortage of vaccine at this point in time."

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

Even health care workers are having a hard time getting second doses of the vaccine, according to Maryland's Acting Health Secretary Dennis Schrader's Monday testimony to a Maryland Senate workgroup on vaccines.

The CDC, which funded the study, did not respond to questions about how this research could affect its guidance to distribute the vaccine in the two-dose regimen under which the companies tested it.