People are beginning to wonder if they're still protected by the COVID-19 vaccine they got in the spring, because the record card they received then says it has expired.

Not to worry, says Dr. Kent Hall, the Mohawk Valley Health System Chief Physician Executive. Hall says that when vaccines were give out in the spring, we only knew at the time that the inoculation would protect from the virus for at least 6-months. So, cards were given a 6-month expiration date, based on the date you received the shot. Now that there's been more time to study the effects of the vaccine, we now believe the shot remains protective for at least one year. He said that if people with these expiration dates re-register their vaccination at New York State's Excelsior Pass website, the expiration date will be extended for a full year.

Currently vaccine cards with the expired date from the spring will still be accepted if required by an employer, business, venue or institution.

Hall said there is also evidence that the effectiveness of the vaccine might wane slightly over time in the elderly and people who have weaker immune systems, which is why the booster shot might be important, especially in older people. Hall reiterated that as the vaccine gets older, we're able to form more accurate conclusions on its effectiveness. He said at this point, it's unknown just how long the vaccine will remain protective for people against COVID-19, and that as each month passes, we're learning more.

If you wish to re-register your vaccination card for the extended expiration date, you can log on to the state's website at this address: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass-and-excelsior-pass-plus.

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