No booster shots needed yet, after study suggests COVID vaccine provides years of immunity

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new study suggests that effects of some COVID-19 vaccines can last years after receiving the shot. On Thursday, local health leaders said they have not found evidence that supports getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Researchers are still looking into how long COVID-19 vaccine immunization lasts. Original evidence suggested that vaccination immunization only lasts up to eight months. But a new study suggests protection could stay around for multiple years.

“For people that are wondering: I don’t want to miss out on my booster shot, we’re not there yet,” Dr. Ann Falsey, Professor of Medicine At the University of Rochester said.

Studies underway at Rochester Regional Health and The University of Rochester Medical Center are looking into the necessity of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

According to UR Doctor Ann Falsey, the answer depends on two main factors.

“After any infection or immunization, immunity generally wanes over time,” Dr. Falsey said. “The second reason that we’re talking about booster is because of these variants that you hear about on the news.”

A new study published in Nature Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal, found evidence that vaccine immunity could last years, and those who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may not need a booster shot.

Locally-completed research also found that vaccinated people will have mild symptoms if re-infected.

“Even if the current COVID-19 vaccine does not completely protect you from re-infection… I guess I would expect that over time it probably won’t,” Dr. Falsey said. “Even if you got infected, you’ll have a much milder infection.”

Research is still ongoing and with a significant portion of people still unvaccinated, variants spreading in the community could create the need for another shot regardless of how effective current vaccines are.

Doctors with the Finger Lakes Vaccine HUB say, “there is lots of speculation but no hard evidence that we will need boosters anytime soon.”

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