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COVID-19 Vaccine: Why Do We Need Two Doses Instead of One?

Published On May 23, 2021, Updated On Jul 05, 2021

India is currently in the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive with the eligibility criteria now widened to people aged more than 18 years, which was earlier limited to people aged above 45 years. While nearly 10.6% of the population in India has already been vaccinated with one dose, and 3% have received both the doses, there are still doubts and questions related to COVID-19 vaccine in the minds of many. The major one being-Is it mandatory to get two shots of COVID-19 vaccine? The answer is-Yes. 

Read on to know why. 

Importance of Two Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

There are multiple vaccines that have been approved for emergency use in India, namely Covaxin, Covishield, and Sputnik V, all of which consist of two doses. Getting both the shots is mandatory as each of them performs different sub-functions. The first dose known as the ‘prime dose’ enables the immune system of the human body to build antibodies. But these antibodies are not long-lasting and may wane in the long term. Hence, the need for a second dose. The second dose known as the ‘booster dose’, boosts the immune system's ability to produce a greater number of antibodies. Also, the second dose helps to stimulate the memory cells, so that the body identifies the infection and continues to create antibodies against it for a longer time period. 

You May Also Check: Covid-19 Health Insurance

Simply put, one COVID-19 dose enables a weaker immune system response from a human body and hence there is a need to get the second dose so that it can teach the immune system to produce longer-lasting response by remembering the virus. 

Can I Take First Dose of One COVID-19 Vaccine And Second Dose of Another?

No. Both the doses have to be of the same vaccine. The effects of mixing COVID-19 vaccines are still being studied and currently there is not enough data to prove the benefits of the same. So, until the next information, both doses of the same vaccine are recommended.    

Are Two COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Enough?

For Covaxin and Covishield, getting two doses is enough. However, for COVID-19 vaccines coming in future, one may need to get more than two doses wherein the third dose will offer additional protection to the person getting vaccinated. 


Some states offer people the flexibility to choose between Covaxin or Covishield, while others do not. But one must know that both the vaccines are efficient enough. What is important is that one must get vaccinated without wasting any time, if they are eligible for the same. To find a vaccination slot, you can use InsuranceDekho’s COVID-19 Vaccination Slot Finder and follow the simple steps. It allows you to locate the vaccination center nearest to your home, check the current availability of vaccination slots, and get promptly notified about available vaccination slots. 

Also Read: Exploring the After-Effects of Coronavirus Disease

Day by Day Progress of Coronavirus Explained

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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