Inquiring Minds Want to Know: How Long Does the COVID Vaccine Last?
By inquiring minds, I mean me. I want to know how long the COVID-19 vaccine works. Once you are fully vaccinated, how long will it protect against COVID-19? I've asked people who have received the vaccine, and they don't seem to know the answer. Is it like the measles vaccine or more like the flu? Will we need it every year or just every few years? We can google the questions all day long, but the best option is to go straight to the official source of accurate information: The Centers for Disease Control.
As more and more people in the Tri-State are eligible to get the free vaccine, I haven't seen any information about how often we will need to be vaccinated. Obviously, this will make a big difference in the timeline to get back to "normal." Say we are only protected for three to six months (I'm just giving an example). By the time everyone is vaccinated, we'll have to start all over again. Well, here is the "official" answer straight from the CDC:
How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?
"We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available."
Wait, what? The CDC doesn't know how long the vaccine will protect us? I like to stay on the positive side of things, so maybe it will last longer than we think it will. However, when it comes to this pandemic, everything has been a worst-case scenario, for me anyway. So, we'll keep watching for updates from the CDC, roll up our sleeves, and cross our fingers!
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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.