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How long might a vaccine provide immunity for?

Dr. Nabha said it could be anywhere from a couple of months to a lifetime.

WASHINGTON — What’s always top of mind for so many Americans is when this pandemic might finally be over.

Well, we have good news so far on the vaccine front.

But how long will the vaccine protect us? 

Even though we don’t know some of the specifics on the recently announced coronavirus vaccines, viewers asked: “How long do vaccines generally provide immunity for?”

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WUSA9 reached out to an infectious diseases specialist for that answer.

“How long a vaccine lasts depends on the actual vaccine itself. The goal of a vaccine is to have as long of an immunity as possible,” explained Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Linda Nabha.

“What vaccines are designed to do is to create these antibodies when you get a vaccine, your body sees a foreign particle, and it reacts, it makes antibodies. And what you really want is the body to keep those antibodies for as long as possible," said Dr. Nabha.

RELATED: Keep the mask: A vaccine won't end the US COVID-19 crisis right away

So what’s the range for how long vaccines typically last?

Dr. Nabha said it could be anywhere from a couple of months to a lifetime.

“So take a flu shot, for example, right? We recommend people get their flu shot by October because we know it doesn't last a year. So we think that it lasts probably as long as six months for the flu shot,” she explained.

“A tetanus vaccine, for example, lasts for 10 years, so you have to get revaccinated as an adult. The shingles vaccine, that's a two-step process. The second one is do between six months and a year, and that should provide you with lifelong immunity against shingles. So it really depends on the vaccine.”

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