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How long does the Covid-19 vaccine last?

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 28/01/2021 Helen Carter

It is not yet known exactly how long protection from coronavirus vaccines will last, because they haven’t been around for long enough to accurately assess the longevity.

What is known is that the vaccines offer longer protection than the "natural immunity" if someone catches Covid-19, recovers from it, and develops antibodies.

Current evidence suggests getting the virus again is uncommon three months after first infection with coronavirus.

There are currently three vaccines approved for us in the UK. They are the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Astra Zeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.

And almost 8 million people have been vaccinated in the UK (as of January 28).

It is still not 100 per cent certain how long the vaccines remain effective and how much protection each offers.

a person holding a sign: The University of Bolton Stadium is now a Covid 19 Vaccination Centre © ABNM Photography The University of Bolton Stadium is now a Covid 19 Vaccination Centre

The NHS website says: "The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you long-lasting protection.

"There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine."

Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Public Health At Edinburgh University, told Times Radio earlier this month it was not yet clear how long immunity lasts for.

She said to get some sort of "true herd immunity, you're looking at [vaccinating] 80 to 90 per cent of the population, which even with our current roll out would take you into next autumn.

"We need to make sure at that point, the people who have been vaccinated now still have immunity."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said people may need to have coronavirus vaccines every six months, but he has stated that he hoped the third national lockdown would be the last due to the vaccine roll out.

He told the Health and Social Care Committee in January: "I anticipate we will probably need to revaccinate because we don't know the longevity of the protections from these vaccines.

"We don't know how frequently it will be, but it might need to be every six months."

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