As Taiwan begins its long-awaited vaccination drive one year after the beginning of the pandemic, the promise of an added layer of protection against COVID-19 has many wondering: “How long does protection from COVID-19 vaccines last?”
According to the Associated Press, experts don’t know yet because they’re still studying vaccinated people to see when protection might wear off.
How well the vaccines work against emerging variants will also determine if, when and how often additional shots might be needed.
美國華盛頓大學的疫苗研究員德柏拉．富勒 (Deborah Fuller)表示「我們目前手上的資訊僅限於廠商研發疫苗時所做的研究。我們仍然需要觀察已接收疫苗族群的各位在什麼時間點開始又會再次被COVID-19感染。」
“We only have information for as long as the vaccines have been studied,” said Deborah Fuller, a vaccine researcher at the University of Washington. “We have to study the vaccinated population and start to see, at what point do people become vulnerable again to the virus?”
So far, Pfizer’s ongoing trial indicates the company’s two-dose vaccine remains highly effective for at least six months, and likely longer. People who got Moderna’s vaccine also still had notable levels of virus-fighting antibodies six months after the second required shot.
美國馬里蘭大學疫苗專家凱薩琳．紐澤 (Kathleen Neuzil) 表示，雖然目前的疫苗可能撐到一年之久，但他們如同麻疹疫苗，應無法帶給大家終身的保護力。
While the current COVID-19 vaccines will likely last for at least about a year, they probably won’t offer lifelong protection, as with measles shots, said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, a vaccine expert at the University of Maryland.
Variants are another reason we might need an additional shot.
So far, the vaccines appear protective against the notable variants that have emerged, though somewhat less so on the one first detected in South Africa.
If it turns out we need another shot, a single dose could extend protection of the current shots or contain vaccination for one or more variants.
The need for follow-up shots will also depend partly on the success of the vaccination push globally, and tamping down transmission of the virus and emerging variants.