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US vaccine chief thinks COVID-19 shots will have long-lasting effect

US vaccine chief thinks COVID-19 shots will have long-lasting effect

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

WASHINGTON: The head of the US vaccine development effort said Sunday (Dec 6) he believes the COVID-19 vaccine could have long-lasting effect once distributed.

Dr Moncef Slaoui told CNN’s “State of the Union” that only time will tell for certain, but that in his opinion, the vaccine’s effectiveness could last for “many, many years", with older people and others who are more vulnerable requiring a booster every three to five years.

READ: US expects to vaccinate 100 million people against COVID-19 by February

READ: Biden to meet with US COVID-19 vaccine adviser Slaoui

He said that one of the hallmarks of immune systems is memory, so the body’s response to the coronavirus will be much faster once vaccinated.

Still, Slaoui said it’s not known whether vaccinated persons could spread the virus to others even if protected themselves. He said there may be an initial indication on that sometime in February or March.

READ: Record US COVID-19 cases during holiday season

Slaoui stressed that the continuing unknowns make it important for people to remain cautious and take safeguards to protect themselves and others against COVID-19.

He said that once 70 to 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated, “the virus will go down.”

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Source: AP

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