Is there immunity after vaccinations? Virologist weighs in on what happens once you get a shot
WINNIPEG -- Every day more and more Manitobans are being vaccinated.
The province's Vaccine Implementation Task Force said on Wednesday 364,389 doses have been administered in the province and over a quarter of people over 18 have received their first dose.
But once you are vaccinated what happens?
Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, a virologist and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, said once you get you get your first dose, it still takes between one and two weeks before there is an immune bump.
"The length of overall immune memory that we have, we're still trying to understand and I think we have to look back at this idea that even the clinical trials that were completed last year, we really only have six to eight months of total data on those vaccines," he said.
Kindrachuk said people are hopeful that the vaccine can last for a couple of years but more data is still needed to get a clearer picture.
He said vaccination significantly lowers the chance of being infected with COVID-19, but there is a small chance it could happen.
"The U.S. CDC has released data stating that in about 75 million total immunizations, they have seen somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 6,000 infections, so it's extremely rare."
He said even if it is rare, people still need to follow the health orders and be cautious, as there could still be a chance that COVID could spread in the community.
Kindrachuk expects health orders will most likely stay in place during the first stretch after being vaccinated, but he added other places in the world have been able to reduce community transmission rather quickly with the vaccine and soon Canada could have a similar situation.
When it comes to the variants, Kindrachuk said the vaccines we currently have are helping fight the variants.
"I think the vaccines are very good. But the problem is we are dealing with exponential growth with the virus. So the virus is moving a lot faster than what our vaccination clinics are actually getting vaccines administered."
He said this is why the vaccine process is being viewed as a race and noted it is part of the plan but he doesn't consider the vaccine as the "silver bullet" to beat COVID-19.