Data reveals how long a third COVID shot lasts

COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination. Photo credit Getty Images

Protection from the first dosages of COVID-19 vaccines begins to wane around six months after becoming fully vaccinated. But how long does protection from the third shot last?

New research from the U.K. is giving the first round of estimates for how long protection from a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine lasts.

The study from researchers at the U.K. Health Security Agency reported on Friday that the protection against severe disease is more than likely only short-term. However, they added that the shot still offers protection from severe illness.

The research suggested that two weeks after the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, protection from symptomatic infection is around 70%. From there, the numbers fall drastically.

Three months after the third dose, the risk of symptomatic infection is about 50%, and a second analysis of the same topic found it even worse. That data shows protection dropping to 40% around four months after the booster.

Experts have shared that it is normal to see the level of antibodies rise quickly after immunization, but over time they diminish, NPR reported.

Immunologist Dr. Michael Osterholm has shared that the vaccines should have never been marketed as a two-dose shot, thinking that a booster would be needed sometime after getting vaccinated.

Another point being made is that the omicron variant is not the same as the original strain of COVID-19, so protection is not the same against different variants.

While U.K. studies found that boosters don’t necessarily stop infection, they do offer robust protection from severe illness.

When looking solely at those numbers, two weeks after the third shot of Pfizer’s vaccine, protection from hospitalization is above 95%. This number remains around 80% for more than four months after inoculation.

For those with only two shots of any vaccine, the protection against severe illness declines to 40% after six months.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram