4 News Now Q&A: Should people who were vaccinated early be concerned about still being protected?

Your Questions Answered

Q: Should people who were vaccinated early be concerned about still being protected?

A: If you were in the first wave of people to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you are not as protected from the virus as you were six months ago. That’s according to a new study released by Pfizer this week.

Pfizer’s study found that the vaccine’s effectiveness drops to 84 percent about four to six months after getting the second dose. Researchers found its protection was strongest between one week and two months after receiving the second dose. It declined an average of six percent every two months.

Health experts have always expected that the vaccine’s protection was going to wane slightly over time. The big question was whether it would drop to a level that could impact the number of hospitalizations and deaths. So far, that does not seem to be the case.

However, as more information about vaccine efficacy is released, experts continue to consider whether a third shot will be necessary. For now, they stress that because the vaccine remains effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization, it is too early to say booster shots will be required.

“I think right now obviously the Delta variant is surging across the country so everybody should be a little bit careful,” Dean of Brown University School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Sha said. “People who are not vaccinated should get vaccinated. But folks who got vaccinated early in January or February… we’ll know more about waning immunity. But if you’re a regular healthy person I wouldn’t worry about it excessively. There are high risk people that we have to pay attention to and make sure we know whether they will need a booster or not.”

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