Experts call for long-term immunity tracking studies

Vaccine experts are pondering just how long vaccines will be able to provide immunity in a world where some diseases are all but eliminated and natural exposure to many common viruses has ended.

"I don't think we know much at all," says Dr. Samuel Katz, co-inventor of the measles vaccine and a pediatric infectious disease expert at Duke University. And noted vaccine expert Dr. Michael Osterholm says that long-term studies need to be mounted to determine the point at which protection drops in a population and booster shots will be needed.

"It's certainly a reasonable hypothesis that immunity might wane more quickly in the absence of external boosting," says CDC vaccine expert Dr. Jane Seward. "Whether that's the case or not, we don't know. But it's a reasonable thing to postulate."

- read the report from Canadian Press

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