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We have COVID-19 vaccines, so how long will they protect you?

That depends on what you mean by "protect," a Stanford professor tells CNET Now What.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

We're a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and several vaccines are available worldwide. That was supposed to be the beachhead of normalcy, yet a lot of people aren't sure when they can get a vaccine, what it will mean if they do or if they even want one. Now what? 

"We've essentially had a miracle happen," says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of global health and infectious disease at Stanford University about the arrival of vaccines in just under a year. "Our challenges are going to be getting enough vaccine out, getting vaccine out to people who are resistant and getting vaccine out to those around the world."

Maldonado acknowledges that the vaccine situation isn't a simple one. It's not yet clear how long the current vaccines' protection lasts nor how their protection differs in terms of the vaccinated person giving or getting the disease. "That's why we try to keep the guidance simple: Keep masking and keep distancing, because we don't know." 

That said, the day of our interview, the Centers of Disease Control and Protection issued new guidelines that give fully vaccinated people the green light to gather indoors in small groups without masks or distancing. Maldonado said she personally would still maintain distance.

Maldonado shared more insights about COVID-19 vaccine progress with CNET's Brian Cooley that you can hear in the interview video above.


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Now What is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the "new normal." There will always be change in our world, and we'll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.