How long does it take for the corona vaccine to work?

The first aid workers and nursing home residents have now received a first injection of the vaccine. But when will you be protected against the corona virus?

The vaccine from Pfizer and AstraZeneca is already circulating well in nursing homes: about a third of nursing home residents have already received a first injection. Moderna’s is now also being tested in several Flemish hospitals. But the question that burns on everyone’s lips is: when are you protected against corona?

How quickly protected?

That question is relatively easy to answer. First of all, you should of course know that no vaccine offers perfect protection. This also applies to the flu vaccine. But that of AstraZeneca and Pfizer and Moderna offers a 94 to 95 percent chance of protection.

This protection starts to build up a while after the first injection, even with vaccines that require two injections. Although that resistance to the virus does increase gradually if you receive two injections.

For the Pfizer / AstraZeneca vaccine and Moderna, you will start producing antibodies 10 to 14 days after the first dose. Then you are already somewhat protected, but not yet optimal.

A second dose follows after three weeks, sometimes after four weeks. Then it will take another ten days before you are fully protected, or as best as possible.

How long protected?

How long will you be protected? That is not entirely clear yet, but currently producers assume that you are protected for a year. That’s better than getting corona and building up antibodies in this way: in the most pessimistic studies you protect it for only a few months.

Please note: it is not yet clear whether you can still pass on the virus after vaccination. Then you could be a carrier, without symptoms or signs of disease, but a kind of super diffuser. So it is still necessary to wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands after you have been vaccinated.


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