As of recent reports, people are likely going to need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccines and annual shots. This will work similarly as it does during the seasonal flu. Such was confirmed last Wednesday 21 by the scientist behind BioNT and Pfizer vaccine.
It was later explained that immunity to the virus would diminish over time. The CEO of Pfizer Bourla even expressed earlier this month that people would probably need a “booster shot” of the vaccine within a year of being fully vaccinated. Thus, by December people will need a third shot.
Researchers are still unsure of how long protection will last against the virus once one has been completely vaccinated. However, data from both Moderna and Pfizer indicate that the shots are highly effective six months past. Notwithstanding, it is still unclear how well the vaccines work after that point.
On the other hand, Pfizer also confirmed that its 91% effective at protecting against the virus and also about 95% effective against other severe diseases up to the six-month mark after the second dose. Moderna also shows to be similarly effective since it uses technology that resembles that of Pfizer, hence also effective at reaching the six-month mark. Moderna, BioNTech, and Pfizer also have started carrying out trials to study more deeply how effective and safe would it be to get booster shots, as well as testing how well the vaccine holds against other variants that the virus might develop.
Scientists are looking to study the durability of the antibody response since, even though it seems to be strong, the waning of it is highly likely as well as the changes in variants of the virus. Such can force the vaccine to work even harder for protection and thus the whole immunity concept can diminish. That is why the third shot and annual shots are confirmed.
As of February, BioNTech and Pfizer were testing a third dose of their vaccine. With it they intended to comprehend the immune response to the new variants of coronavirus.
During March, the NIH (National Institute of Health) began testing a new vaccine form Moderna which was especially designed to protect against a variant that surfaced in South Africa. After which, Moderna CEO Bancel told CNBC commented on the prospect of the company having a booster shot for the two-dose vaccine that could be available as soon as this fall.
However, the demand for the vaccines is waning in the United States with some sites even being closed even though the country is not that close to reaching herd immunity. In order to reach such the country requires 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated and immunized. However, it was added that it is still unknown what percentage would be needed to stop the spreading of the virus.
It is estimated that about half of the adult population in the United States has received at least one dose of one of the vaccines and approximately one third has been fully vaccinated. This is according to data recollected form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additionally, the vaccines from BioNTech, Moderna, and Pfizer now have emergency authorization in the United States. Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also authorized but early this month it was suspended due to the surfacing of formation of blood clots and thus being currently investigated.
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