For most people, the COVID-19 vaccine provides a high degree of protection for at least several months. Booster shots help them retain immunity from the virus.
As of November 2022, more than 80% of the United States population has received full vaccination with a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. For those over 65 years, this vaccination rate is 95%.
Although experts are confident that vaccines are effective, they are unsure exactly how long they provide protection. Figures vary depending on the type of vaccine a person gets, but most research indicates that immunity lasts around
Read on to learn about the protection each vaccine type provides, when boosters are necessary, and more.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research is ongoing to determine how long COVID-19 vaccine immunity lasts.
Data from early in the pandemic found that individuals who received vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines had immunity for
Four COVID-19 vaccines have approval or authorization from the
The following explains how each vaccine works and how long each protects against COVID-19.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a newer type that uses mRNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to create immunity in the body. Although mRNA vaccines are a new technology, researchers have studied them for many years and used them for seasonal flu and rabies.
Doctors deliver the vaccine in a primary series of two doses spaced
The Moderna vaccine is another mRNA vaccine that healthcare professionals administer in two initial doses. A person has full protection 2 weeks after the second dose, but they benefit from some level of protection sooner.
In the first 2 weeks, the vaccine is
A person should develop strong antibody protection for
The Novavax vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine. It uses pieces of the virus’s proteins to create immunity, rather than using a deactivated virus or mRNA. Additionally, it contains a substance called the Matrix-M adjuvant that helps create a stronger immune response.
A person requires a primary series of
Johnson & Johnson
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine. Protection occurs 2 weeks after vaccination.
Research shows that after 2 weeks, the vaccine is 66.9% effective in preventing moderate to severe critical COVID-19 disease. This increases to 85.4% after 28 days. It is also 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations.
At present, experts are unsure how long immunity from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine lasts. However, the
Yes, people require booster shots for all types of COVID-19 vaccines. They help maintain immunity against the disease.
The length of time a person has protection from the initial vaccine series differs. However, the CDC recommends people have a Pfizer-BioNTech or Modernabooster shot at least
Hybrid immunity refers to immunity from a combination of vaccination and previous infection with SARS-CoV-2.
When a person has hybrid immunity, they may have a
COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe disease, and hospitalization. People require a primary series of shots and boosters for full protection.
Data suggests that fully vaccinated people benefit from several months of immunity. With mRNA vaccines, this may extend to around 6 months. Hybrid immunity, which people develop from both vaccination and previous infection with SARS-CoV-2, may offer longer-lasting protection.