According to a new study, most people do not need a third COVID booster jab.
People who have already been vaccinated have such good protection against severe coronavirus infection, even with the more contagious delta variant, that a top-up third dose is unnecessary.
This concludes a review by an international group of scientists assessing evidence from a series of previously published trials and studies.
After averaging the reported results from multiple observational studies, the vaccination provided 95 percent efficacy against severe disease from the delta version or the earlier alpha version of COVID.
The scientists found that the jabs were also more than 80 percent effective at protecting against any infection from these types.
Vaccines are less effective against asymptomatic infection and transmission of the virus than against preventing people with severe cases, but unaffiliated minorities remain the major drivers of transmission as well as the individual at risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID also exist.
The government is reportedly on the verge of announcing its booster vaccination programme, with its scientific advisers recommending giving millions of fully vaccinated Britons a third time from the end of this month.
It is not yet clear whether the boosters will be available only to the elderly and other groups at highest risk, or if they will be rolled out more widely.
However, Dr Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo of the World Health Organization (WHO) and lead author of the new review published in The Lancet said that the available evidence does not support the idea that those already vaccinated have protection against serious infections. has decreased.
“The limited supply of these vaccines would save the most lives if made available to people who are at appreciable risk of serious disease and have not yet received a vaccine,” she said.
“Even if some benefit could be gained from the eventual boost, it would not outweigh the benefits of providing initial protection to the unaffiliated.
“If vaccines are deployed where they will do best, they could hasten the end of the pandemic by preventing further development of variants.”
This echoed the position of the head of global vaccine-sharing initiative Covax, who said it would be “counter-productive” for the UK to roll out booster jabs for millions of Britons, arguing that the country’s excess supply will be put to better use. In protecting people in poor countries who are denied vaccination.
The government has said the UK’s booster program is “perhaps the most important part yet” to end the pandemic – yet Aurelia Nguyen, managing director of the Covax facility, said a more “holistic” approach is needed from COVID-19. adopted in handling.
“The difference between giving a third dose to a healthy young adult or a first dose to an ICU worker or an elderly or immunocompromised person in a developing country – clearly has a greater benefit,” she said. Granthshala.
“I understand the campaign to provide absolute maximum protection but it’s actually counterproductive [to administer third doses], in the sense that while the virus is still circulating and mutating around the world, eventually it is going to affect the UK as well. “
The authors of the Lancet study also noted that even if antibody levels decrease in vaccinated people over time, this does not necessarily mean that the efficacy of vaccines against serious disease will decrease, as other immune responses may still be initiated. Might be possible.
Co-author Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, said: “Currently available vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving.
“While the idea of further reducing the number of COVID-19 cases by increasing immunity among vaccinated people is attractive, any decision to do so must be evidence-based and consider the benefits and risks to individuals and society.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /