SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Many questions coming in about the COVID-19 vaccine and in this case, how long they might last. In that vein, today's Why Guy question is from Janene Lawrence on Facebook, who asks, "so does this vaccine last like the other required vaccines or is it going to be a yearly one like the flu vaccine?"
Janene, not a why question, but we like it. Studies have shown that the antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination will last for three months, but the upper limit is not yet known because these vaccines have only been administered for a few months.
ABC10 medical expert and Roseville Physician Dr. Tom Hopkins says the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines are "projected at this point to serve as a seasonal vaccine as we don't know how individuals will respond to it with long term versus short term immunity."
According to other medical experts, because the COVID-19 vaccination is brand new, only time will tell how long the immunity lasts and since there are different pharmaceutical companies making them, there may be a difference in each vaccine's long term effectiveness. In the short term, all of them have been deemed safe and effective.
But, long term, as a hypothetical, the Pfizer vaccine could last a year where the Moderna could be eight months. Dr. Payal Kohli, ABC10's medical expert also says "antibodies can wane over time, as early as 2-3 months, and reinfection is a possibility. If a vaccine immunity behaves like natural immunity, then we'll likely have to get it every year like a flu shot."
Pfizer vaccines are underway. Moderna’s vaccine has tested at 94% effective in clinical trials. The FDA calls it “highly effective."
Have a question for Walt aka the Why Guy, reach out to him on his Facebook page.
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