In a new study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and elsewhere, researchers found that the Moderna vaccine is still effective against COVID-19 six months after people are fully vaccinated.
Previous research has shown that Pfizer’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines were effective against COVID-19 for at least six months.
In this study, the team aimed to find out if the same is true for the Moderna vaccine.
To determine the efficacy of the Moderna vaccine over time, they enlisted the assistance of 24 fully vaccinated volunteers.
Each was asked to give blood samples four weeks after being inoculated and then three more times over the course of six months.
The researchers tested each of the samples against all of the most common variants—the B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.429 (Epsilon), P.1 (Gamma), B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.526 (Iota).
They found that, with the exception of B.1.351 (Beta), the vaccine was very effective against COVID-19 variants as indicated by a full antibody response.
They noted also that after six months, 96% of the samples tested showed a full response to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, which is of course, the one that is responsible for most new infections in the U.S.
They also found that only half the samples tested instigated a full antibody response against the Beta, or B.1.351 variant, which was first seen in South Africa.
The team also showed that antibody response is not the only part of the immune system responsible for protecting people against viral attacks—B and T cells are also part of the process, though they tend to take longer to get involved.
They may provide some protection for people as antibody response fades.
The researchers also note that during their study they found that antibody response in older people diminished only slightly.
They suggest studies will have to be done periodically as the future unfolds to find out how long the vaccines provide protection.
If you care about COVID vaccines, please read studies about how effective is the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? and findings of new COVID vaccines may offer broad protection from coronaviruses.
For more information about COVID and your health, please see recent studies about a safe, low-cost new COVID-19 vaccine and results showing that single vaccine dose may protect people who have had COVID-19.
The study is published in Science. One author of the study is Amarendra Pegu.
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