BOSTON (CBS) – There has been a lot of speculation on whether we will need annual COVID-19 booster shots to keep infections at bay, but some scientists say that may not be necessary. In fact, there’s more data suggesting vaccines may provide long-lasting protection.

As reported by the Associated Press, there is growing evidence that, at least, immunity from the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna may last longer than originally thought. The vaccines boost antibodies against the coronavirus, and while those antibodies wane over time, they seem to provide adequate protection for at least six to nine months and probably longer.

But there are other immune cells in the body that can join the fight, including memory cells that can generate more antibodies if need be and T cells that can destroy infected cells and reduce the severity of symptoms. So while booster shots may be in our future, we may only need one every few years.

Dr. Mallika Marshall