How long will the COVID vaccine make you immune to the virus? Will the coronavirus go away completely?
Although people are getting vaccinated, there is still much that doctors do not know about the vaccine; how the vaccine works, or how well it works. More studies are being published each week to help answer many of these questions.
This is what they know so far.
How long does immunity last after vaccination?
The immune system is complex. Everyone responds differently, many mechanisms in the body trigger an immune response.
Researchers are still studying the immunity caused by the COVID vaccine. Until now, they have ascertained that antibody levels rise after the COVID vaccine is taken, especially six weeks after the first dose and two to three weeks after the second dose.
“At that point, they tend to go down, but remain at a protective level for a period of something around six to nine months in most people,” said Dr. Douglas Kasper, section head of infectious disease at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria.
Antibodies are the easiest immune mechanisms to study because there are blood tests that can reveal their presence and numbers. But there are other powerful immune mechanisms that can have long-term effects in fighting the virus. Kasper said doctors are studying these mechanisms and will learn more in the fall as the first vaccine recipients apply over the course of an entire year of study.
Will I need a booster shot?
“Over the short-haul, probably. Moderna is already trialing a variant booster,” said Kasper.
Virus variants, which could reduce the effectiveness of existing vaccines, are already spreading around the world. Researchers are working on catalysts to manipulate these variables and are likely to be used to aid the current eruption.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine be taken annually like the flu shot?
Dr. Kasper stated that In the long run, the virus is likely to mutate into a less dangerous form. “I don’t know how long it will take,” He said. This is similar to what happened with other virus strains. You want natural immunity and vaccine immunity in the population and the virus changes. It’s still there, but not nearly as important. ”
Will the coronavirus go away?
“The virus will not go away. There is no strategy with COVID for eradication,” said Kasper. Instead, the virus is managed. The good news is that researchers have developed some great tools to bolster this effort.
Kasper said “There are a lot of positive predictors when you have a vaccine that can be modified as quickly as these mRNA vaccines can be modified that adds confidence to our ability to manage this,”
And in the long term, nature is on our side. Historically, plagues have played out, and not just because everyone died — the human body adapts and so does the virus, usually in ways that make it less deadly, said Kasper.