Study shows Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide years of protection against covid

USA - 2021 - First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Brad Paisely tour a pop-up vaccination site in Nashville
Amid all the scary news about the delta variant and how easily it spreads, there’s a promising study about the immunity conferred by the vaccines. A study from Washington University School of Medicine shows that the mRNA-based vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, may provide years of protection against covid. The vaccines are somewhat less effective against the more virulent variants, but in most all cases they prevent against hospitalization and death. This isn’t a time to quit wearing masks inside no matter how rosy the CDC wants to paint this, but those of us who have been vaccinated can feel a little safer. In fact the scientists say that people who have had covid and get vaccinated may have lifelong protection.

Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines may protect against the virus for years, a new study found.

Lingering questions surrounding the COVID vaccines have been about how long the protection will last, and if people will need booster shots to keep it going. But this new research indicates that boosters likely won’t be needed – barring the emergence of variants that are stronger than the two mRNA vaccines.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine found that the vaccines create a constant immune reaction in the body that protects it against COVID-19. Looking at the cells in the lymph nodes of people who have been vaccinated, researchers determined that the cells are continually practicing how to fight against the virus, even 15 weeks after the first dose.

“The fact that the reactions continued for almost four months after vaccination – that’s a very, very good sign,” Dr. Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis and lead author of the study, told The New York Times. Typically, those reactions hit their peak in the week or two after vaccination before starting to die down, but that hasn’t been the case with the mRNA vaccines.

“It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine,” Ellebedy said.

Researchers also believe that those who had COVID-19 and then were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna’s formulations may be protected for the rest of their lifetimes, adding to the reasons why it is still necessary for people who had the virus to get vaccinated.

[From People]

It sounds like we might not need booster shots every year, as long as we can stop this virus from mutating by controlling the spread. If boosters are available I will get them because I don’t want to have even a marginal risk of getting sick. We just spent 15 months in our homes disconnected from our friends and family. The fact that there are people who still refuse to get vaccinated blows my mind. Those people are getting sick as things open up and many are learning the hard way. I just wish that children and medically vulnerable people didn’t have to pay the price too.

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USA - 2021 - First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Brad Paisely tour a pop-up vaccination site in Nashville

These are photos of Dr. Jill Biden touring a vaccination site in Nashville with Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Credit: Avalon. Dr. Biden is also shown at a vaccination site, Emmett J. Conrad High School in Dallas, Texas, yesterday with Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. Credit: Getty

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30 Responses to “Study shows Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide years of protection against covid”

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  1. Chaine says:

    I have zero science background, can I just ask, if these MRNA vaccines are so awesome, will they also able to formulate one against the flu? so we don’t have to get a flu shot every year?

    • Piratewench says:

      I think the flu mutates like crazy and there are many various strains that circulate each year.
      I’m not an epidemiologist lol, but I think flu may be a lot harder to peg than covid.

    • Angie says:

      I don’t think so because the flu does mutate aggressively every year. Each flu vaccine is somewhat of a guess of which strains will be most virulent each year so that’s why they aren’t as effective.

      Edit – didn’t see piratewench’s reply before mine

    • Merricat says:

      It’s complicated, but there’s a protein in flu viruses that evolves so rapidly that it’s a completely different strain from year to year. That’s why vaccination is important; by not getting vaccinated, people are helping the virus to survive and then evolve.
      While Covid-19 is similar in some ways to the flu virus, it is not the same.
      Those who have more extensive knowledge, feel free to correct or amplify.

    • Larisa says:

      Not a scientist either, but an awesome scientist friend has been trying to explain this to me in simple terms, and from what I got, the flu DNA is a lot shorter, so it mutates pretty rapidly. Corona’s DNA is a pretty long strand, so it cannot mutate nearly as fast.

    • Mel says:

      Flu mutates, always a different strain. I don’t know if the current flu vaccines are developed using MRNA.

    • Huit says:

      A universal flu vaccine is in the works! The Netflix documentary “Pandemic” (made just before the, um, pandemic) interviewed scientists working on it. But don’t expect it any time soon. According to this article, another decade:

  2. Snuffles says:

    Wonderful news! This is why I was determined to get Moderna or Pfizer instead of Johnson and Johnson.

    • EnormousCoat says:

      Yes! I got Pfizer and have been so happy with all the data so far. I was certain that we would need annual boosters, so this is great news, along with it being very unlikely that vaxxed people can carry and transmit the virus. Of course, the vaccines arent 100% and even if 100% if the population were vaxxed, some people would still get it as long as the virus is circulating, but it is unlikely they will get sick and die. When our parents got vaxxed, my husband and I celebrated. It was such a relief. And then when we were fully vaxxed, we just felt so hopeful again. Yay vaccines!

    • SpankyB says:

      I got the Johnson & Johnson because that’s what was available without having to wait a month. From what I’ve been reading I’ll probably have to get a second shot to protect against Delta. I’m fine with it. Whatever it takes.

  3. Athyrmose says:

    I’m thrilled to hear this but I’m still going to get a booster at the 6 month mark.

  4. Maria says:

    I was finally able to see my mother for her birthday at the beginning of the month after my vaccinations & waiting period, & I wanted to cry. My immediate family is supposed to get together mid-July for the first time since the pandemic, & I just found out my brother hasn’t even gotten his first shot. I am absolutely livid, as it was the one condition for the trip. His kids are too young for the shot anyway, so it’s already a risk, & now there’s no way for him to get fully immunized with a two-shot option (which we all agreed to & the rest of us have) in time for the visit.

    So today I’m calling him & telling him they can’t come. I feel like those of us, the country over, who made the decision for ourselves & those around us simply shouldn’t have to be at risk by family or friends who don’t care enough to protect themselves or others. My mother is in her seventies & she’s been vigilant, & I could never forgive my brother if she got seriously sick or worse because of him.

    • Robin says:

      This kind of thing drives me nuts. It’s like when you turn up at people’s houses and they tell you their kids were vomiting overnight but they’re OK now. What the hell. Why not be honest and warn people, so they have the option of coming over or not. Covid is far more serious than that and there should have been complete honesty. I feel angry on your behalf, Maria.

      • Maria says:

        Thank you so much, Robin. I called & told him that I was rescinding the invite & that everyone else was in agreement. He hung up in my face & immediately started calling my mother, but I had warned her about it, so she just didn’t answer the phone. She’ll wait until he cools off, I guess, but she won’t change her mind. Frankly, I thought I’d be more bothered by the potential estrangement, but I just feel relief: one less thing to worry about later!

    • lucy2 says:

      Sorry you have to do that, but you HAVE to do that. You’re protecting yourself and everyone else in your family, because he hasn’t done what he was supposed to in time.
      I have 1 coworker who isn’t getting it, and the rest of us are pretty much saying we’re not all going back in together until everyone is vaccinated. Not only for our own protection, but half of the staff has young kids who can’t be vaccinated yet (including the guy who hasn’t done it).

      • Maria says:

        Lucy2: You’re so right. My husband just found out he could work from home for the rest of the year, & it took a big burden off because his job was saying people could “self-certify” that they had been vaccinated/weren’t sick, & a handful of his co-workers were fighting even wearing masks & said they were not getting vaccinated. Everyone else was basically terrified that those few would make every day a super-spreader event, & every. single. person who didn’t want to wear masks has kids. It’s insane to me how loudly & willfully ignorant some people can be!

        I hope you guys have a good resolution. There’s definitely strength in numbers, & employers have to stop gambling with people’s lives.

  5. Midge says:

    This is such great news! I had covid early on, worked in a covid icu last year and then worked as a vaccinator. I’m done with covid. I got my moderna jabs and will continue to wear a mask in stores. The extraordinarily low incidence of flu cases last year is testament to the efficacy of masks, and if a variant pops up that breaks through the vaccine protection, hopefully my mask will stop it. Look, many Asians continued to wear masks after SARS-covid-1. No reason we can’t do the same for SARSS-covid-2

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Midge, for your hard work in getting us through this. I hope people on here (and it’s the majority) who wear masks and get jabs are at least some source of comfort to you and your colleagues.

  6. Katherine says:

    Well, good for those to whom these were/are available, I guess…

  7. Jessica says:

    I had covid in September and got my second jab back in May, I’m really happy to hear I may be good for life! My entire immediate family (parents, sisters, partners) are vaxxed now, minus the kids. We’re getting together in mid July for the first time since 2019, I can hardly wait.

  8. Robin says:

    This is the best news! I think I had covid right at the start and have had my double Pfizer. That sounds really selfish, bear with me. It’s good news for everybody, even those still waiting. We are clearly some way towards understanding this virus and how to fight it, and the more people who have the vaccines the more those without are protected. I am so proud of members of the public who have had their jabs and taken the scientists and epidemiologists seriously. This kind of update shines a much needed light into the world of those who, like me and my family, have been surrounded by covidiots and had to contend daily with their ignorance and lack of care.

  9. Sunday says:

    This was a study done on FORTY-ONE people, 15 weeks after their second shot. That is nowhere near a representative sample size of anything, much less something as sensitive as this.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is promising and of course it’d be great, welcome news if the scientific method was sound, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a reputable scientist who would make such bold pronouncements based on a study of less than 50 (!!) people. This is more PR being pushed out to “encourage” people to get vaccinated. I want everyone to be vaccinated! I just don’t think this is a responsible (or effective) way to get there.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      thank you for pointing out the teeny sample size. The proof will be in the pudding when the vaccine manufacturers release updated data about the long-term immune response seen (or not seen) in the clinical trials. Both companies should have had a few thousand subjects who have completed the 1 year post dose follow up; by October they should have 1+ years of follow up on at least 10K participants. I don’t recall the details of the Moderna or J&J protocols but the Pfizer protocol was written for follow up for 2 years post dose. I’m betting that if they prolonged protection, they may develop a rollover protocol to extend the duration of follow up out a couple more years

      • Golly Gee says:

        And because many pharmaceutical companies are not ethical when it comes to affecting their bottom line, there is a little incentive for reporting long-term immunity. So much more money to be made by vaccinating people annually. So I am curious how this will play out. Maybe the variants will give them enough legitimate business for providing boosters.

  10. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    MerlinsDad and I had the Pfizer vaccine. This is good news but I’m still wearing my mask because…people…

  11. PoppedBubble says:

    So no one thinks Dr. Jill should be wearing a mask at these vaccination events?

  12. jferber says:

    Yes, but the Delta variant is 60% more contagious than the last variant, which was also much more contagious than the first, unmutated Covid virus. I’ve also read that FULLY VACCINATED people ARE getting the Delta variant anyway. I’d like to know more statistics about that fact. How easy is it to get the Delta strain if you’re fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna?

  13. Kkat says:

    That’s great… But I personally know 3 people (co-workers)who got covid again after being fully covered with a mRNA vaccine.
    And we have had patients who have managed to get it two and three times.

    It could be that they didn’t have good immune responses when they got the vaccine.
    But people are definitely getting it while being fully Vaxxed.

    With the varients, with not knowing if I had a good enough immune response, I’ll be getting the boosters and still wearing a mask.
    Delta is here (in the U.S.)and it’s starting to go exponential.
    Heaven help us if Delta plus starts circulating.

  14. Bronson says:

    I am one of those vax hold outs. Hear me out; I am not anti-vax. I have the luxury of working from home, and have crippling social anxiety, so I rarely leave my house. The rapid rollout of these vaccines has made me feel, well more crippling anxiety.
    And I’m sorry, but it’s absurd to me that a “Study shows Moderna and Pfizer vaccines provide years of protection against covid”. These vaccines have only been in use for 7 months, and were rolled out less than a year after the thing they are supposed to protect us against killed 4 million people. And people that are fully vaccinated are still testing positive and dying. The right answer is: no one knows. And that’s ok. Im just tired of feeling pressured to do something in order to get back to a life I don’t want to go back to.

    As things have opened up rapidly in my little section of Northern California in the last couple of weeks, all I have seen is people acting like absolute assholes. Driving aggressively, invading personal space (unmasked), and really acting like the last 18 months didn’t happen. I plan on getting my vax, I’m just being cautious, and I fully acknowledge my privilege for being able to do that.