Concerning news for the millions of Americans who’ve already received both doses Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. New research shows the vaccine will only protect you against illness for a minimum of six months.
The new study tracked 33 participants in the trials that led to the vaccine’s approval. Six months after having received their second vaccine dose, “antibody activity remained high in all age groups,” according to a team led by Nicole Doria-Rose of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Her group published their findings April 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The results follow on similar findings for the other major two-dose vaccine included in the U.S. vaccine rollout, made by Pfizer/BioNTech. Trial results released April 1 by the companies found that their vaccine remains more than 91% effective six months after people get their second dose.
The new results from Moderna are based on 33 people ranging in age from 18 to older than 71. The study found that while everyone maintained high levels of infection-fighting immune system antibodies in blood samples, levels did seem to fall according to the increasing age of participants.
For example, while levels (“titers”) of antibodies averaged over 92,000 in vaccinated people aged 18 to 55 at six months after full immunization, they dropped to an average of about 62,000 in people aged 56 to 70, and to just over 49,000 in people aged 71 and older.
In the meantime, ongoing studies are monitoring immune responses beyond six months as well as determining the effect of a booster dose to extend the duration and breadth of activity against emerging viral variants.