Since the COVID vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson&Johnson are all quite new, there aren't years of data on them to prove how safe and effective they are over long periods of time. However, the more time passes, the more researchers are able to get a glimpse at how the vaccine works several months after injection. One recent study found new evidence that suggests how long the Moderna vaccine actually protects you from coronavirus. Read on to find out how long the vaccine is effective, and for more on this shot, Moderna CEO Says This Is How Often You'll Need A COVID Vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine protects you for at least six months.
Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on April 6 suggests that protection gained from the Moderna vaccine extends for at least six months. Researchers noted that "the durability of protection is currently unknown," since the vaccines have only been around for a short period of time. However, antibody activity remained high in all age groups six months after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, which is the longest amount of time studied to date.
This data on Moderna was gathered by performing follow-up tests on dozens of people who received the vaccine during Moderna's clinical trials. The researchers noted that ongoing studies will continue to monitor how vaccine recipients' immune response progresses beyond six months. And for essential vaccine guidance, This Common Medication Can Make Your Vaccine Less Effective, Study Says.
Pfizer made a similar announcement last week.
On April 1, Pfizer announced in a statement that its COVID vaccine remains highly effective and safe for at least six months after the second dose. Pfizer got this data by analyzing over 46,000 trial participants. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said that the new findings are "an important step to further confirm the strong efficacy and good safety data we have seen so far, especially in a longer-term follow-up."
Additionally, Pfizer said the latest findings set the company up to apply for a Biologics License from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson&Johnson are operating on an emergency-use authorization from the FDA. To obtain full approval, the manufacturers have to file for a Biologics License, which requires long-term data that demonstrates the vaccine is safe and effective over time. And for more on vaccine efficacy, This Is the Only Way to Tell If Your COVID Vaccine Worked, Doctors Say
Moderna said they are working on a booster dose to address variants.
In addition to sharing recent findings, the researchers also noted that they are looking into "determining the effect of a booster dose to extend the duration and breadth of activity against emerging viral variants." According to the Associated Press (AP), both Pfizer and Moderna are working to update the current vaccines they offer and create boosters to address troubling variants. And for more vaccine news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The existing Moderna vaccine should work against most variants.
Although Moderna is working on ways to address variants, experts believe the current shots should be able to protect people from most, if not all, of the variants spreading right now. On April 6, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, told Insider, "I don't believe that there's anything to panic about at this point," in regards to the variants. Fauci noted that the existing vaccines have "the potential—to a greater or lesser degree—to also protect against a range of variants." And for more on vaccines and variants, This One Vaccine May Protect You Against All Variants, New Study Says.