Will you have to get a yearly COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Jen Ashton answers questions about flu and coronavirus testing, vaccine effectiveness and more.
2:28 | 09/17/20

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Transcript for Will you have to get a yearly COVID-19 vaccine?
grand ole opry as the world watched safely from their own homes. Dr. Jen Ashton is back to answer questions. Here's the first one, should we anticipate having to get the covid-19 vaccine yearly? That's an important question. We don't really know the answer. There are clues to giving us an answer. Other strains of coronavirus do typically have their antibody levels wane around 12 to 18 months. This is an rna type virus and viruses mutate for a living. Doesn't always make them more that's why every year we need a different influenza vaccine. It's absolutely possible we may need a yearly covid vaccine. No one is even getting to that let's cross that bridge when we get to it. Let's get it out and distributed. Exactly. Next one, how long will it take for the vaccine to be effective from the date you're inoculated? Early data from moderna which is one of the developers in phase three clinical trials showed blocking or neutralizing antibodies 14 days after their participants and volunteers were vaccinated. Very similar to the flu vaccine where we start to see antibody levels go up around a week, but you're not considered fully protected until two weeks, that key word fully protected is the key. Right now both with the flu vaccine and potentially with the covid-19 vaccine, remember it will not be 100% effective. If it removes 50% of your risk of getting infected, remember just because you get a vaccine, you still have to take precautions. That is very important to remember. Next question, is it possible to test for the flu and coronavirus with one test? Not yet, but it needs to get to that point. Right now if you go into a hospital or see your doctor or health care provider with an upper respiratory viral syndrome they'll run a panel of swabs that contains testing for other coronaviruses, flu, paraflu, rhino virus, there's a slew of viruses that give us fever, cough, those kind of symptoms. Right now there's one for covid and another panel for everything else. We need to get to the point where we swab someone once and check for everything. We're not there yet. Dr. Jen, thank you. You can submit questions to Dr. Jen on her Instagram @drjashton.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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