MADISON, Wis. – If you have a COVID vaccine, you have probably thought about how long it will last. Many doctors have said that booster shots are likely to be necessary, but they are still trying to figure out when that may be.
“In a normal non-pandemic situation, we would probably have these answers before the vaccines were rolled out, but we are not in that situation and we had to get people vaccinated quickly,”
He said the data available to doctors showed that Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines were still at least 90% effective six months after the injection.
Sometime after these six months, a person’s immunity to the virus declines. It could be a year after their first shot or even three years later, but not enough time has passed for this to be tested.
Johnson & Johnson is another type of vaccine.
“With these adenovirus vaccines, it is possible that the effectiveness of the vaccine will actually increase over time,” Hartman said.
So if you have Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, your immunity is likely to improve over time. It will be more effective three months than it was a month after your shot. So a booster may be needed later than it would be for those who got Pfizer or Moderna.
“I expect all of these vaccines to have different points where they hit that peak, and then you see a drop in immunity,” Hartman said. “At some point, it will all be a vaccine, and everyone can be on the same time card.”
But variants will always threaten to slow down the vaccination process and require booster shots even faster. While Pfizer and Moderna have been shown to be effective against the UK variant, other variants or new variants may be resistant.
“If say the South African variant came in (to Wisconsin) or the California variant came in, we may need to look at the boosters again in terms of, we need to do a boost against that variant,” Hartman said.
It is also not yet known if you will need to get the same brand of booster shot as you did from the original vaccine.
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