saramath wrote: Sorry, Vaccines will protect against the variants that are now found but will not protect against new variants but the immunity will be there only for a minimum of 8 months.
In theory, you should still get protection from variants, but the degree of efficacy goes down. The vaccine does not require an EXACT match to the spike protein, variants are variations to the spike protein, but there are many key points to a vaccine, your body can still recognise the spike, but the level of efficacy goes down, but still remains above the 50%. The FLU vaccine is 40%-60%, so you would get similar protection to variants. Variants are not an issue, because Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA, they can quickly be adapted to new variants, so expect new vaccines in a few months for those variants.
As far as 8 months protection, I don't think so, it's very unlikely that you will be protected that long - your immunity would likely fade after only 2-3 months, in best cases you might get up to 6 months, but it's likely that the COVID vaccine will be seasonal, like the Flu, and you might require a yearly or bi-yearly shot for new strains, much like the Flu, each season they try to determine which will be the predominant strains, and it's possible more variants come out that are even more resistant to vaccines, so this is not over, the vaccine buys time but does not cure, you will likely need another vaccine in the fall, before winter, and it's likely that COVID might stick around for a while, if the vaccine works, you will see seasonal spikes of COVID19, lots of cases, BUT the number of deaths and hospitalisation won't grow alongside, but transmission will continue.
The vaccine is not protecting you against COVID19, you can still get infected, the virus can still enter through your nose, mouth or eyes, and you can still spread it around, like today, but your body will have been trained to recognise one of the key areas of the virus, the spike, and attack it before the virus has a chance to cause severe complications that can send you to the hospital, that's about it. Remember the Flu vaccine, there are STILL 500k people dying every year. The only way this pandemic can end is a combination of vaccine ***AND*** people wearing masks, distancing and continue to follow all the SAME guidelines for a while. There is a long long way to go, herd immunity or community immunity is a very long way - you don't get that with only 5% of the population vaccinated
It's unrealistic to even THINK that this will be possible by end of this year....BUT what can happen is that hospital and mortality numbers might decline, despite possible variants causing a surge of cases, this is what they are expecting from the vaccines, herd immunity is just science fiction at this point,