According to a new study, the effectiveness of the Covid vaccines is declining after six months. However, vaccines are the only way to get protection from the infection, and booster doses will be the best choice in this situation. The study has also shown that getting a booster dose improves the effectiveness of the vaccines to some extent.
After Six Months Without Boosters, Covid Vaccine Efficacy Declines
Experts say that the protection offered by Covid vaccines is about 94% in the initial stages of vaccination, and it gradually reduces to around 80% after six months. However, this can be boosted with a booster dose. The risk of not taking the booster dose is that the protection from the vaccine continues to decline further over time.
The study also focused on other factors that may be contributing to reducing the effectiveness of the vaccines. This included old age and co-morbid conditions along with chronic ailments. In most cases, older people were likely to lose protection from vaccines much earlier than others.
In the same manner, breakthrough infections were more common in patients suffering from co-morbid conditions like diabetes, heart problems, and blood pressure. Apart from that, other chronic ailments like cancer also reduced the efficacy of the vaccine to some extent.
Interestingly, not all vaccines decreased ineffectiveness at the same pace. The study focused on the reducing effectiveness of different vaccines available in the market. It was found that Moderna fared better than other vaccines in the long run. The protection offered by the Moderna vaccine continued for a longer period when compared to the protection offered by the Pfizer vaccine. However, the initial protection offered by these two vaccines remained almost the same.
Experts say that the outcome of the study can be used to target the booster program in the proper manner across the country. As the study helps to identify the risk factors associated with a rapid decline in vaccine efficacy in some people, the booster program can be focused on such risk groups. In this way, a breakthrough infection can be prevented in the long run, and the number of hospitalizations can be reduced to a large extent.
The study has clearly highlighted the risk factors associated with not taking the booster dose for older adults and patients suffering from comorbidities. Such people are at high risk for re-infection without the booster dose. Interestingly, not many people in the US have taken the booster dose as the new wave of Covid was milder when compared to previous waves. Due to less severe infections, most people did not take the booster program seriously across the US.
It is important to understand that the protection offered by vaccines continues to decline with time, and it will be very low after about 10-12 months. Given this situation, it makes a lot of sense to get the booster dose so that the protection level can be improved. As there is a risk of new variants coming in the future, it is a good idea to get a booster dose to upgrade the protection.
Health agencies in the US are even thinking about combining Covid vaccines with regular flu shots so that more people are able to get the protection in the long run. Something needs to be done in this direction to motivate more people to take regular booster doses to get continued protection.
As the covid wave slows down, it is important to use the situation to improve the vaccination rate across the country. Many experts warn that immunity derived from natural infection may not be enough to prevent re-infection, and vaccines are the only way to get the best protection.