People are starting to wonder if they are still protected by the COVID-19 vaccine they received in the spring, as the registration card they received then says it has expired.
Don’t worry, says Dr. Kent Hall, Chief Medical Officer of the Mohawk Valley Health System. Hall says when the vaccines were distributed in the spring, we only knew then that inoculation would protect against the virus for at least 6 months. So the cards were given an expiration date of 6 months, depending on when you got hit. Now that there has been more time to study the effects of the vaccine, we now believe that the vaccine remains protective for at least a year. He said if people with those expiration dates re-register their vaccinations on the New York State Excelsior Pass website, the expiration date will be extended for a full year.
Currently, vaccination cards with the spring expiration date will still be accepted if required by an employer, business, place or institution.
Hall said there is also some evidence that the vaccine’s effectiveness may decrease slightly over time in the elderly and people with weaker immune systems, which is why the booster could be important, especially in seniors. Hall reiterated that as the vaccine ages, we are able to draw more specific conclusions about its effectiveness. He said that at this point it is not known how long the vaccine will remain protective for people against COVID-19, and that as each month passes, we are learning more.
If you want to re-register your vaccination card for the extended expiration date, you can log onto the state website at this address: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass-and-excelsior -pass- more.
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