The World Health Organisation says it is still unknown how long immunity lasts after COVID-19 vaccination, noting that those vaccinated must continue to adhere to preventive measures.
Speaking in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of the global health agency on Sunday, WHO’s Director of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals, Dr. Katherine O’Brien disclosed that the global health agency was still researching how long immunity from vaccines last.
“We’re following people who have received vaccinations to find out whether or not their immune response is durable over time and the length of time for which they are protected against disease.
“So, we’re going to have to wait for time to pass to see just how long these vaccines last.
“The clinical trials demonstrated that these vaccines protect people against disease. What we don’t know yet from clinical trials is whether or not the vaccines also protect people infected from SARS COV2 virus and whether or not it protects against transmitting to somebody else.
“So, this is a really important part of our understanding of what these vaccines do. Do they really protect against getting infected and being able to transmit to somebody else, even if you are not having any symptoms?
“So, we really need to continue with precautions while we’re still learning about what the vaccines can do,” she said.
Dr. O’Brien stated further that as long as the widespread transmission was going on in many countries, people must continue to take precautions even if they have been vaccinated.
“Right now we are in a situation where there is still a broad transmission in many countries. The transmission is just out of control.
“For how long we need to continue with these precautions is going to depend on what communities and countries can do to really crush transmission,” she said.
The WHO official also stressed that another reason to be cautious was the lack of evidence on how the vaccine protects children.
“We don’t actually have the evidence yet for using the vaccine in some age group. We don’t have evidence for use of vaccines in children for instance. So for the time being, those age groups are going to continue to be at risk of both disease and infection and being able to transmit the infection to other people, she said.
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