Survey raises concerns about vaccine longevity

Local doctor weighs in
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 31, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The current push for people to get their COVID-19 vaccines may not be the last one.

A new survey of nearly 80 infectious disease experts shows many are worried about just how long the protection of the current shots will last.

An annual shot is nothing new. For example, the flu shot is administered once a year.

That could be the case for future COVID-19 vaccines depending on how effective the current vaccine is at protecting us.

Nebraska Medical Center infectious disease expert Dr. Mark Rupp said the current vaccine produces favorable levels of antibodies.

He's hopeful that will give people long-lasting protection from the virus. But so far, there's little data available to show if or when COVID-19 booster shots will be needed.

Rupp said Americans will not be safe from the pandemic until the entire world gets control of the virus and its growing number of new strains.

"It's very disconcerting and frustrating when we have the tools at our disposal to get this pandemic under control and, unfortunately, there are a lot of folks that wish the pandemic was over and are behaving like it's over. Unfortunately, the virus doesn't listen to our pronouncements and what our wishes are. It's going to continue to evolve and I think these variant strains are starting to really gather steam in the United States,” said Rupp.

Rupp added we need vaccinations throughout the community in order to develop herd immunity.

For now, a vast majority of Nebraskans are still at risk for developing COVID-19 and the symptoms that sometimes linger.

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