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How Long Does It Take for the COVID-19 Vaccines to Work?

Once you figure out where and when you can get a COVID-19 vaccine, once you are vaccinated and protected, your next question is likely going to be “when is this shot going to start working?”

I've gotten dose one and I'm waiting for those antibodies to start building up!
I’ve gotten dose one and I’m waiting for those antibodies to start building up!

When are you going to be immune to COVID-19?

How Long Does It Take for the COVID-19 Vaccines to Work?

While you are going to be a little disappointed if you were hoping for instant immunity, you can be reassured that it won’t take too long.

“It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination.”

Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

Just how long depends on which COVID-19 vaccine you got though, as most, including the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZenaca COVID-19 vaccines, do require two doses for full protection.

“Seroconversion was rapid for binding antibodies, occurring within 2 weeks after the first vaccination, but pseudovirus neutralizing activity was low before the second vaccination, which supports the need for a two-dose vaccination schedule.”

An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report

And remember that these vaccines are given at different intervals, with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses being given at least 21 days apart, while the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses are given at least 28 days apart.

Two doses of these vaccines are needed to get the maximum protection against COVID-19.
Two doses of these vaccines are needed to get the maximum protection against COVID-19.

In general though, you will probably have developed full immunity about a week or two after your second dose of any these COVID-19 vaccines.

“Efficacy in preventing confirmed COVID-19 occurring at least 14 days after the second dose of vaccine was 94.5.0% (95% CI 86.5%, 97.8%) with 5 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group and 90 COVID-19 cases in the placebo group.”

FDA Briefing Document Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

And that immunity should last at least three months.

Will it last longer?

Hopefully!

Of course, we can only tell how long that immunity will last for as long as the clinical trials have been going on…

So three months of immunity doesn’t mean only three months. It’s just that since these are new vaccines, we only have three months of data. And so far, folks who have been vaccinated continue to be immune for at least three months after their last dose.

And with the one-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, full immunity comes 29 days after the dose is given. This vaccine is not yet approved though.

What to Expect After You Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Besides a great chance to develop immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus so that you don’t develop COVID-19, what else can you expect after you get your COVID-19 vaccines?

Unfortunately, since these vaccines are not 100% effective, it will mean that even if you are fully vaccinated, you will need to:

At least you will until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

More on COVID-19 Vaccine Immunity

3 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take for the COVID-19 Vaccines to Work?”

  1. What a load of crap:

    Unfortunately, since these vaccines are not 100% effective, it will mean that even if you are fully vaccinated, you will need to:

    continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing
    be quarantined if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19
    be tested if you think you might have COVID-19
    be isolated if you test positive for COVID-19

    At least you will until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

    — In other words, the vaccine does nothing, because you can still get c19 even though you are “immune”. In other, other words, nothing changes, you can still get c19, and every ridiculous regulation and precaution we are taking right now will stay the same. What a load of crap!

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