How Long Will COVID-19 Vaccine Immunity Last?

In this short video, Dr. Hank Bernstein talks about immunity after COVID-19 vaccination.


How long will COVID-19 vaccine immunity last?

Hank Bernstein, MD: I'm Hank Bernstein, and I'm speaking to you today on behalf of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The question, “How long will COVID-19 vaccine immunity last?” With so much illness and so much death, there was a need for COVID vaccines to be developed at unprecedented speed. Since they've only been around for less than a year though, we don't have exact answers about long-term immunity. It's also true that we don't know exactly how much antibody is needed for protection, how long the protection lasts, and whether or not a booster shot will be needed.

But there is really good news. The immunity from COVID vaccines seems to be lasting longer and longer every day. People appear to be protected for up to six months and maybe even a little bit longer. And with more data on the horizon, as researchers carefully study the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, we're getting more information all the time. This is an amazing achievement for science. And a key for long-lasting protection are the memory cells that we have in our immune system. These are the cells that quickly expand when they're exposed to the virus and develop protection. Plus, it's important that the type of antibodies, in this case neutralizing antibodies, develop. These neutralizing antibodies are the ones that work to attack the virus whenever we're exposed. Studies continue to show promising results that suggest durable immunity from the current authorized COVID-19 vaccines. It is both encouraging and exciting that that immunity may last much longer than six months.

Thank you.

Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center

Last Reviewed on Jun 16, 2021