Is the Covishield booster dose necessary?

Pandemic Aug 22, 2021

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There is “no need for booster vaccinations” according to the World Health Organization (WHO), despite mounting concerns about the necessity for a booster shot following full vaccination, particularly for seniors and healthcare workers.

“There is currently no evidence indicating a need for further doses once a person has received two doses,” according to interim WHO recommendations concerning Covishield vaccine development by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The interim guideline was created based on the advice provided by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccination on February 8, 2021, and was revised on April 21, 2021, and again on July 30, 2021. According to WHO, booster doses’ necessity and timing will be reviewed when more evidence becomes available.

According to statistics from the Co-WIN system, more than 10% of the eligible population in India is completely vaccinated, sparking discussion among this group regarding the potential need for a booster dose. This is at a time when over a quarter of the 940 million eligible population has received only one dosage, with many more on the way.

On January 16, 2021, India launched a nationwide COVID-19 immunization campaign using Covaxin and Covishield. So far, the majority of dosages administered in India have been of the SII-manufactured Covishield.

The federal government has said that booster doses of COVID-19 are not being considered. According to Bharat Pawar, Minister of State Health and Family Welfare, who briefed the parliament last week, the COVID-19 vaccines were created fairly, thus scientific knowledge about the period of protection is still growing internationally,

Following vaccination, visible immunity is produced in the form of quantifiable antibodies and unseen immunity known as T-Cells, which have memory and warn the body. As a result, possessing antibodies is not the sole indicator of our body's immune capacity.

Across the globe, there are diverse points of view on booster Covid vaccination dosages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory panel is debating whether fully vaccinated Americans with weaker immune systems require a booster injection. Similarly, the European Medicines Agency recently stated that it is too early to know if more than two vaccination doses would be necessary, but that, surely, the current regimen will be enough.

According to University College London (UCL) experts, antibody levels begin to decline as soon as six weeks following completion of vaccination with Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, and can drop by more than half in ten weeks, indicating the need for supplementary doses.

The UK government said this week that it is ready to begin delivering booster COVID-19 vaccine injections in September, in case more protection is required to deal with diminishing immunity from initial doses and to strengthen protection against emerging SARS CoV2 strains.

Bharat Biotech in India is testing the third dosage of Covaxin. Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, has announced that it is seeking emergency approval for a booster injection for its two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, citing concerns that protection provided by the vaccination may diminish over time.

This article has been written by Omer Khan for The Paradigm

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