INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pfizer released a report indicating the company’s vaccine provides six months of protection against the coronavirus and is 100% effective in preventing severe disease.
Results of the ongoing study also suggest the shot is protective against the South African variant — the COVID-19 mutation that many health experts feared would elude protection against the vaccine.
“If the vaccine works against these variants just as well as it works against non-variants of concern then we’re looking at a very different world moving forward,” Dr. Cole Beeler, infectious disease specialist at IU Health, told News 8. “So, I think this is the first real sign that we might be able to liberalize further and faster if this ends up being tested in a higher amount of individuals.”
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According to the press release, researchers assessed 927 confirmed symptomatic cases of COVID-19 and found the vaccine was 91.3% effective when measured seven days through six months after the second dose.
Beeler admits the vaccine’s longevity is significantly above what he would’ve expected.
“COVID-19 natural immunity is about three to four months and then you can start getting re-infected. The vaccine showing immunity for six months is probably demonstrating an extremely durable immune response…which is exactly what we need in order to have long-term herd immunity from the virus,” he said. “So, this is extremely encouraging.”
This is just one more reason, Beeler said, that Hoosiers should strongly consider getting vaccinated.