Q: Does the vaccine protect against all variants?

The vaccines which are based on the “original” SARS-CoV-2 virus have continued to be successful in protecting against variant viruses because the variant viruses are still “similar enough” that the body’s immune response is able to recognize the viral threat. However, as newer (and more different looking) variant viruses arise, then we would expect the vaccines to protect less, as the immune system will not be able to recognize the viruses as well.

Q: The variants seem to be constantly changing into newer variants or strains and the vaccine has not been approved by FDA. With these concerns in mind, would you honestly still say it’s better to get the vaccine?

The vaccines are proving very effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19. It continues to provide protection against the various variants emerging. Over 90% of those now being hospitalized due to COVID-19 have not received the vaccine, demonstrating increased vulnerability among the unvaccinated.

Response by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine


Wilbur H. Chen, MD, MS, FACP, FISDA, Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicinem Chief, Adult Clinical Studies section, Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD), Director, UMB Travel Medicine Practice


Richard Hart, MD, MPH, President and CEO, Loma Linda University