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States across the US have seen COVID metrics drop by massive percentages since the first COVID vaccines began rolling out in December. While many states had slow starts to their vaccine rollouts, they all have been able to make great strides in the last month.

While these vaccine numbers have been increasing, some have been shocked by how quickly the metrics involving hospitalizations and deaths have declined. While some have pointed to the large amount of the population who already have some level of immunity after recovering from the virus, the vaccines are the obvious variable that changed in the equation.

But the shock for some came with the idea that the first available vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, are both two-shot vaccines, with a nearly a month long wait time between doses. So many expected a longer period of time for the vaccine to take hold.

However, the numbers started dropping quickly. Almost like the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna was enough to protect people.

Well, according to a massive new study from University of Sheffield, Oxford Universities, and the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium we know that the one shot was doing enough work to turn the tide.

The findings of this study were published this week by Reuters, and show that the immune response after just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine delivered the same protection as someone who recovered from the virus. It also added that the single shot gave protection against the often talked about "variants" of the COVID virus. The single shot had "robust" antibody response in 99% of those who only received just one dose in this study.

Reuters published a partial statement from Susanna Dunachie of the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, who says this research backs up real-world results as well:

“SIREN (Britain's vaccine rollout effort) is actually showing very high vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization after a single dose, with the majority of these people having not had infection before. So what we’re trying to do is look at the mechanisms for that”

Researchers did indicate that the second dose helps to boost immunity further. But the results of just the single shot are still impressive.

This would help to explain why the COVID metrics in the US started dropping faster than many expected. In most states, there's around 10%-15% of the population who have completed the two shot treatments. But a larger percentage, generally around 25% have had at least one dose. This research shows that the larger number who have at least initiated their vaccines are already protected at a higher level than previously thought.

When we factor in the number of COVID recovered population, with a larger number of people protected with at least one shot, it makes more sense why the numbers were dropping faster than expected across the country.

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