Ask A Doctor: How Long Does The COVID Vaccine Last?

It’s unclear whether COVID-19 vaccinations will become an annual event.

By Michael MarksMarch 15, 2021 7:34 am,

In this installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Dr. Fred Campbell answers Texas Standard listeners’ questions about the coronavirus and the vaccine.

How long are the COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered good for?

It’s not clear yet. Vaccine effectiveness wanes over time, so booster shots might be required in the future. An additional shot may be required if the virus mutates in such a way that it can still afflict vaccinated people. Campbell said that it’s possible that COVID-19 vaccines become routine, like an annual flu shot.

I was scheduled to get a second COVID-19 vaccination, but I got sick and couldn’t keep the appointment. I haven’t been able to get another appointment since. Is the protection offered from just one shot adequate, or is it critical that I get the second?

“The protection from one vaccination in the two-shot series appears to be quite potent. However, it is recommended that everyone receive both injections to maximize their immunity against COVID-19.”

What rules should vaccinated and non-vaccinated people follow when congregating together? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that people who are fully vaccinated are free to congregate with each other without restrictions. They can also be in close contact with one non-vaccinated household at a time, as long as they don’t include any high-risk individuals.

“It is still important for folks who are fully vaccinated to be careful in public areas and to avoid high-risk individuals,” Campbell said.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.