Why Are We Vaccinating People Who Have Recovered from COVID-19?

A worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services receives a COVID-19 Moderna vaccine in New York City, December 23, 2020. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
The most effective use of limited supplies would be restricted to those who have never been infected.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE N ow that Pfizer and Moderna have received emergency-use authorizations for their COVID-19 vaccines, the tough work of deciding how to allocate the limited supply of doses begins. Both vaccines, which require two doses per person, will be in short supply for months, and the shortage will be exacerbated by the CDC’s counterintuitive and counterproductive recommendation that people who have already had COVID-19 be offered the new vaccines along with people who have never been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease.

Why, in the middle of a pandemic, when limited supplies necessitate vaccine rationing, does the CDC recommend vaccinating

Joel M. Zinberg is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and an associate clinical professor of surgery at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. He was the general counsel and a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 to 2019.