VA Study: How Long Does COVID-19 Vaccine Immunity Last?

This popped up in my email box today. I am not a member of any particular group representing veterans; but, I do use the VA for healthcare as a discharged Marine Sergeant. At times, I have written in support of various actions by different military groups supporting veterans.

With regard to healthcare, Medicare has started to use the VA Pharmaceutical formulary due to their pricing. In some cases such as Metoprolol, Medicare has changed from one version to another as a result of cost saves.

Groundbreaking VA Study Shows How Long COVID-19 Vaccine Immunity May Last

26 Mar 2021 | By Patricia Kime

Among the great unknowns of the COVID-19 vaccines now in use against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is how long immunity lasts and whether booster shots will be needed over time.

Scientists at the VA’s Office of Research and Development in White River Junction, Vermont, have found that the vaccines can provide immunity for at least seven to nine months, a time frame similar to the immune response generated in people who have had COVID-19.

The study examined antibodies in some of the 240,000 veterans who have contracted COVID-19, Dr. Richard Stone, VA’s acting under secretary for health, said Friday.

Speaking to reporters during a news conference Friday with VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Dr. Richard Stone:

“The evidence is that between seven and nine months, we can feel comfortable that you are still protected. We think it will be longer than that. That is not a limitation,”

While several studies have shown that immunity following a COVID-19 infection can last at least six months, and perhaps as many as eight months, research on the lasting impact of COVID-19 vaccines is ongoing, and scientists have been hesitant to discuss the time frame before all the data is compiled.

But the VA’s findings, Stone said, could “extend” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s message that immunity from a vaccine lasts at least six months. Dr. Richard Stone:

“Right now it appears we will be able to publish in the next few weeks.”

The belief right now in Covid-19 like the flu is an endemic disease just like influenza. The issue then is how to reduce mortality and hospitalizations going forward