The world wasn’t even done understanding the coronavirus and its variants, and it has mutated once more, becoming even more lethal by the name Delta variant. As the Delta variant is spreading itself on the lands of the United States, many people are once again being hospitalized and death tolls are rising.
Is It Important To Take A Booster Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine?
Experts are worried that the vaccines for COVID-19 do not offer the required immunity against new variants. Growing evidence suggests that vaccinated people are at low risk of catching the infection, and even if they do, it will not be severe nor they’ll need to be hospitalized. However, experts are worried that these vaccines are not capable of protecting people against the new Delta variant.
A study was conducted which concluded that more than 95% of people who took both vaccination shots of the Pfizer-BioTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 proved to be weaker against the Delta variant than other strains. All those who took one dose of the vaccine had an even weaker response than those who took two. It suggests that a single dose of vaccine can not protect against the Delta variant.
In the span of six months, the effectiveness of the Delta variant fell to just 64%. However, two vaccine shots are effective in 93% of cases to prevent serious illness. This helps the immune system to slowly build sustainability and next time an infection enters, it can react quickly. Most of the boosters are the same as the previous doses, while some are modified to enhance the effectiveness.
One dose may not be much effective, and thus boosters are given with the hope of providing extra protection when the effectiveness of the first dose wears off. Many viral infections need booster doses, such as flu, tetanus and diphtheria. Medics suggest that dividing vaccine doses in small numbers and providing them in gaps proves to be more effective than giving one large dose.
The US government is yet to issue a decision on if booster doses will be provided. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are of the opinion that when need demonstrates, booster doses will be ready and accessible.
It is certain that vaccines offer protection against coronavirus, but it is quite uncertain to know for long. This is why booster doses are advised. It may also help people with weaker immune systems. Dr. Richard Stanton told Medical News Today that people with a good response to the vaccine may have a strong immune system for over 12 months and work against new variants as well. Dr. Stanton, who works for the Division of Infection and Immunity at Cardiff University, UK, said that he is of the opinion that no booster doses are required.
An associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School said that boosters can prove beneficial for people with health conditions like organ transplants or autoimmune diseases. In another case, Prof Anthony Harnden of the Joint Committee on Vaccination (UK) said that the UK may roll out boosters.
Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group Sir Andrew Pollard said that the main purpose of these boosters is to keep people out of the hospital. He is of the opinion that it is essential to provide people with the first vaccination dose rather than accessing the second.
Researches are going on booster doses to study its effectiveness. Pfizer and BioNTech released a statement that giving booster doses of their vaccine 6 months after the completion of the second dose produces immunity to several coronavirus variants. They stated that creating an updated version that can prevent the Delta variant is still ongoing.
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