YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is one of two that was awarded emergency use in the U.S. As the rollout continues, many people are asking how long the shot will protect you once you get both doses.
Mercy Health Youngstown Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Kravec said there is still a lot of uncertainty about how long the vaccine will last. He said it could be forever, one year or somewhere in the middle.
In the grand scheme of things, 365 days isn’t that long. Officials with Moderna said they expect their COVID-19 vaccine to protect people for at least one year. That is something Kravec wasn’t really surprised about.
“I didn’t think this would be once in a lifetime. I did think there would be some sort of re-vaccination period,” Kravec said.
How soon it happens is the question. This is the same shot health care workers at St. Elizabeth are getting. Because the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were only developed within the past year, no one really knows how long they’ll protect people. A third dose, or booster, may eventually be needed.
“That question comes up a lot. Is this going to be an annual vaccine? I think that is something we are considering. At least on my mind,” Kravec said.
So in theory, the COVID-19 vaccine could be added to your list of yearly vaccinations, such as the flu shot.
“That might be where we land, but we are really not sure yet, and I guess we really won’t know until we get more data and time,” Kravec said.
What Dr. Kravec doesn’t want, especially as we roll into Phase 1-B of the vaccine distribution, is people thinking once they are vaccinated this time, they will never have to again.
“People thinking it’s January 2021 and I’m getting my first and second dose; I’m never going to have to think about this ever again. I don’t think this is probably going to be the way this ends up,” Kravec said.