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Will the current crop of COVID vaccines provide lifetime immunity?

Current data show the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing coronavirus infection and offer various degrees of protection against most variants, but for how long? In this episode, we discuss whether these current vaccines can provide lifetime immunity as emerging variants surface around the globe. Our guests are Dr. Otto O. Yang, associate chief in the Division of Infectious Diseases at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Dr. Marc Hellerstein, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at UC Berkeley and at the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco.

Second Opinion is produced by L.A. Times Studios in conjunction with the L.A. Times newsroom. This episode is hosted by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system in fighting cancer and infectious disease. Last year, Soon-Shiong’s company, ImmunityBio, received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase 1 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. His company is also in Phase 1 trials in South Africa, where it will explore the potential of its T-cell vaccine to prevent infection from mutated strains of the coronavirus.