Good Question: Is the COVID vaccine effective past 90 days?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)—Here’s a Good Question about vaccines.

Sue asked us: Is the vaccine effective longer than 90 days? I have seen this "90 days" mentioned before also, so I am curious about how long someone stays protected after they receive the vaccine?

The short answer is– it’s still too early to tell. Researchers say they are still working to learn more about the long-term protection of vaccine immunity for those who get shots, as well as natural immunity for people who caught COVID, then developed antibodies.

Another question: Will we have to get the COVID vaccine each year just like the flu shot?

That too is still being studied to see if we’ll need boosters to tackle new variants of the virus. As part of this, our local hospitals are working on a new effort testing a third dose of the current Pfizer vaccine. Those shots will go to people from the first studies in the U.S., they got fully vaccinated more than six months ago.

"Because this is a brand new disease, because these vaccines are new much of the decision-making is what we call empirical you know, take the evidence and make your best decision," Infectious Disease Specialist at URMC Dr. Ann Falsey said. "We really don’t know."

When it comes to the other vaccine, Moderna, its CEO has said it’s possible their current version may work for a couple of years.


Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you’d like answered, email