The COVID Vaccine Will Protect You for at Least This Long, Study Finds
New research pinpoints how long you'll be immune to COVID after getting vaccinated.
As the public gets closer and closer to having access to the COVID-19 vaccine, many are beginning to feel optimistic about beating the virus for the first time in months. And as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to finalize approval of the different pharmaceutical companies' versions of the vaccine, scientists are also getting more information on when we may finally see the end of the pandemic. One piece of that puzzle? How long the vaccine will provide immunity, with a new report suggesting that the COVID vaccine will protect you for at least 119 days, or about three months. Read on for more on these findings, and for more on venues you might want to avoid right now, check out Almost All COVID Transmission Is Happening in These 5 Places, Doctor Says.
The new research was published in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine that examined follow-up visits with the first 34 patients who received both doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. Doctors found that while antibodies did drop off in the weeks following inoculation, they leveled off and were still present three months after both doses had been administered—and remained in higher levels than those who had recovered from actual infection, The Washington Post reports.
"It is small numbers for sure, but it's good news," Kathleen Neuzil, director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, told The Post.
The New York Times clarifies that the findings do not mean that immunity lasts only three months—that's just "the length of time that people have been studied so far." The researchers plan on conducting more studies to see how much longer the vaccine may actually last. They also hope to develop a blood test that will help gauge a person's level of protection.
But this isn't the only recent vaccine development. On Dec. 1, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publicly announced their recommendations for how the vaccine should be rolled out and who should get their doses first. Read on to see who will be at the front of the line, and for more pandemic news, check out If You Have This Common Condition, You Might Be Safe From COVID.
Read the original article on Best Life.
Health care personnel
Doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel have long been considered to be a likely choice as candidates for the earliest round of vaccines—referred to as Phase 1a. In voting during the Dec. 1 emergency meeting, the CDC confirmed this, defining health care personnel as "paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials."
As of Dec. 3, the CDC reports that there have been 249,033 cases among health care personnel and 866 deaths. And for more on the vaccination process, know that Dr. Fauci Says This Many People Need to Get Vaccinated to Stop COVID.
Long-term care facility residents and workers
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have suffered a disproportionately high number of COVID-19 deaths over the course of the pandemic due to the fact that their populations are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. As of Nov. 27, The New York Times reports that these facilities have seen more than 101,000 COVID-related fatalities, which constitutes 39 percent of all deaths in the U.S.
This led the CDC to deem the group a top priority for vaccinations, putting them in Phase 1a. During the emergency meeting, the CDC also clarified that any employees at these facilities would be considered health care professionals, therefore also being a part of Phase 1a of the vaccination process.
The CDC defines long-term care facility residents as "adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently."
Although it hasn't been officially recommended by the agency, essential workers were listed as likely candidates to receive vaccinations during the secondary rollout of the first phase of vaccinations, known as Phase 1b. According to the CDC's definition, which was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Nov. 27, this includes many of the professionals whose ability to "remain healthy helps protect the health of others and/or minimiz[es] disruption to society and the economy."
While the definition of an "essential worker" currently differs from state to state, a division of the Department of Homeland Security has listed professions such as firefighters, police officers, emergency responders, teachers, grocery store employees, correction officers, transportation workers, and anyone whose job can't easily be worked from home. The group makes up more than 87 million people in total, according to the MMWR report. And for more on staying safe in the meantime, check out This Type of Face Mask Isn't Protecting You From COVID, WHO Warns.
Adults with high-risk medical conditions
Phase 1c, the third segment of the first wave of vaccinations, has also not been officially recommended or voted on, but the CDC has long hinted that the group will likely consist of adults who are most vulnerable to COVID. Patients with high-risk comorbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, immunocompromising conditions, or kidney disease would fall under the group, putting them in line for vaccination during this phase. However, states will still have the final say on which patients qualify for early access to doses of the vaccine.
Adults over the age of 65
Even if they are otherwise healthy, older patients represent one of the highest risk groups for extreme cases of COVID-19: the risk of severe illness rises exponentially from those who are 50 to those who are over 60 with each year of age. But while this has yet to be officially recommended by the CDC, some experts believe that states will choose to diverge from the health agency's suggestion and potentially raise the minimum age to 75 to allow for the vaccination of other essential workers, The New York Times reports. And for another recent decision from the top virology agency, check out The CDC Just Loosened One of Its Longest-Running Rules.