Covid: Will Pfizer, Moderna vaccines provide long-term immunity?

Published on July 4 2021

Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the human body that may protect against Covid-19 for years, scientists reported recently.

A study published in the Nature journal stated there is growing evidence that most people immunised with messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines may not need boosters, as long as the virus and its variants do not mutate beyond its current form.

The study also said that people who recovered from Covid-19 before being vaccinated may not require the booster dose, even if the virus undergoes significant transformation. However, it remains unclear whether vaccinations alone will have long-lasting effects against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Doctors in the UAE have said that while the study results are promising, there needs to be more research to conclusively state that mRNA vaccines will be long-term solutions against Covid-19.

Dr Prasanna Kumar, a critical care specialist and in-charge of the intensive care unit at Medeor Hospital in Dubai, said, “mRNA technology is a modern method of developing vaccines and is touted to be the future in vaccine development.”

Dr Kumar said traditional vaccines put a weakened or inactive virus into human bodies to trigger the development of antibodies. “This is not the same in the case of mRNA vaccines. Instead, mRNA vaccines teach the body’s cells to produce a protein that boosts the production of antibodies. This immune response helps us in countering the actual virus when it enters our body and keeps us safe from contracting the infection,” he said.

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