Arizona Health Experts See Bright Future, Even As COVID-19 Vaccine Longevity Remains Unknown

By KJZZ News
Associated Press
Published: Monday, May 17, 2021 - 8:05am
Updated: Monday, May 17, 2021 - 10:50am

Arizona health officials reported 468 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths Monday morning, amid growing vaccination rates. Nearly 44% of Arizonans have received at least one shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave new guidance last week, saying fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks in most settings

With vaccination rates continuing to grow, the head of the Arizona Public Health Association says there seems to be a brighter future coming soon. Will Humble says plunges in cases are expected in mid-June if the vaccination pace is kept up.

“I think we’re very very close to putting this thing behind us, at least in the U.S. Now that doesn’t hold for the rest of the world," Humble said.

But Humble also says that COVID-19 will never be totally gone, and it may remain a sporadic illness.

Nearly 44% of Arizonans have received at least one shot. But it is still unknown how long vaccines will remain effective against COVID-19.

Dr. Shad Marvasti, with the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix, says he expects a growing body of knowledge over the next six months.

“At this point what we know from vaccine immunity is that it lasts at least six months, and studies are underway now looking beyond the six months time frame, to see whether or not there is still immunity," Marvasti said. 

But Marvasti also says that with vaccine hesitancy, and if the virus continues to spread and form variants, people may need “a whole new series of vaccinations or at the very least a booster shot.”

KJZZ's Katherine Davis-Young contributed to this report.

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