How Long Will Your Coronavirus Vaccination Last?
Posted On 09/05/2022 02:37:51 by flystly

How Long Will Your Coronavirus Vaccination Last?

If you are fully vaccinated, you may be excited about gathering with family and friends again. You might even be planning a winter vacation. But there are still nagging questions about how long protection from the coronavirus vaccines will last. For instance, will your shot wear off gradually or suddenly? Will you need a booster? To get more sinopharm news today, you can visit shine news official website.

“We can only say that a vaccine is protective as long as we are measuring it,” says Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS.

Vaccine longevity became a hot topic in August, when some studies began to suggest vaccine effectiveness was waning, although data also showed the vaccines were still highly effective against hospitalization. In one study reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), data from the state of New York showed vaccine effectiveness dropping from 91.8 to 75% against infection.

Data about the vaccines waning contributed to a decision in the fall of 2021 to make booster shots available—the CDC says all adults 18 or older should get a booster six months after completing their primary vaccination series if they started with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two months after getting the J&J single-shot vaccine Teenagers ages 16 or 17 may also get the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, which the FDA authorized for that age group in December 2021. A mix-and-match policy allows people to take any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. as a booster shot, regardless of which vaccine a person had for their primary vaccination.
Pfizer and Moderna have been monitoring immunity in people who were given their vaccines in the initial clinical trials—both companies had reported strong overall efficacy at the six-month mark. (Pfizer reported on its efficacy in a preprint that has not been reviewed by outside scientists; Moderna released a company statement.)

One thing researchers are monitoring in vaccine recipients is levels of antibodies, which are proteins produced by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances, and that are easily measured from blood samples. “Antibodies are a really good marker for protection against infection, so we will be monitoring those levels for as long as we can measure them,” says Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine.
A report in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in April showed that 33 participants who had received the Moderna vaccine during the Phase I trial had a gradual decline in antibody protection—and, based on the slope, Iwasaki says, that is hopeful news. “If antibodies are going down very quickly, you would expect that to last for a short time.” The slow decline raises hopes that the mRNA vaccines will be protective for at least a year, if not longer, she says. (It should be noted that the trial occurred prior to when Delta became the predominant virus variant in the U.S. last summer; as of mid-December 2021, Omicron is the predominant virus in the U.S.)

Another measure is T cells, which scientists are still studying for their ability to kill virus-infected cells in the context of COVID-19, and which may also provide important protection. T cells are more difficult to measure, Iwasaki says. But they may be important—last year, a study in Nature showed that people who were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a different coronavirus outbreak that killed almost 800 people in 2003, maintained T-cell immunity 17 years after they recovered.

Still another way to predict how long protection might last is by looking at natural immunity, says Dr. Meyer. This means studying immunity people developed after infection with COVID-19. “We know for at least the first few months after symptomatic disease—and even longer—that people are unlikely to become reinfected,” she says.

But it’s important to know that immunity induced by the mRNA vaccines is stronger and more reliable than natural immunity, says Iwasaki. That’s because levels of natural immunity tend to differ from person to person. “Vaccines normalize the response to a very high level, where it uniformly uplifts everybody,” she says. “If you are starting with the high level, even if you start to decline from that level, it will take much longer before you need a booster.”

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