As Alabama prepares to move into phase 1B of vaccination -- people 75 and older and first responders -- there are things people should be aware of, both short and long term, with the vaccine.
Currently, doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being distributed around the United States, but as we move in later phases of distribution both here locally and nationally, some say we’ll likely have an entire “toolbox” of vaccines to get the job done.
“You’re going to have multiple options to choose from, some that may be only a single dose, most that’ll probably be two doses, some that may have different storage conditions…” Dr. Neil Lamb of the HudsonAlpha Institute said.
Lamb believes that several other vaccine candidates, such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, will have received approval by the end of February.
As we look ahead to a period when large portions of the population will be getting vaccinated, Lamb said it’s important to know that you aren’t protected as soon as you get the shot.
“Within those first 10 or 12 days, you don’t have any protection and if you come in contact with the virus, you’re at the same risk of anyone else of contracting it,” he said.
“I actually know individuals that got the shot and either right before they got the shot, right after they got the shot, they got exposed and they got COVID-19, even though they had been vaccinated. It was that window where they’re still susceptible, where their body hasn’t started building up a response.”
Data from Pfizer and Moderna indicates that after that initial period, the vaccinated group separates itself in terms of immunity, according to Lamb.
But how long will it last? That’s the question everyone’s asking.
“We know that the people that first got the original doses way back in phase one trials, back in April, that they still have protection, so we know that you’re talking about nine months at a minimum,” Lamb said.
While there is no definite answer at this point, Lamb believes that the vaccine may give people a year and a half to two years of protection, adding that it may just end up being something you get a shot for every year or every other year.