A top official from Moderna told investors Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is believed to offer immunity to the virus for up to one year.
WTOP reports Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, made the statement while speaking at the JP Morgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference.
“Our expectation is that the vaccination should last you at least a year,” Zaks said.
Zaks said Moderna is looking into whether adding a third shot to the two-shot vaccine may extend the vaccine's protection. As WTOP points out, the true duration of protection that the vaccines offer is not yet known as they were created within the last year.
“We’ll have to boost people to see how well the boost works,” said Zaks. “We think there is an opportunity to boost, especially the ones at high risk, should you need it.”
Moderna's vaccine is one of two that have been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, the other being Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. Both vaccines received approval in December and have mainly been administered to frontline healthcare workers and those in assisted care facilities.
The speed at which the vaccines have been administered has been criticized with some local governments struggling to determine which groups of people should receive the vaccine next.
Several state and local governments appear to have followed the recommendations set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and added more essential workers to the list of people eligible to receive the vaccine.
This include health care workers like dentists and nurses at speciality clinics as well as educators. Senior citizens who live outside of assisted care facilities have also been granted eligibility to receive the vaccine in recent weeks in several states and cities.
According to data from the CDC, more than 25 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed and nearly 9 million does have been administered.