Will we need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot? Is it necessary
New Delhi, June 21: Amid growing concern over virus mutation, several countries are preparing for Covid booster shots to avoid another surge. Scientists, however, say it is too early to say these booster shots will be required.
Talking about the effectiveness of a third dose, World Health Organisation's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said there is not enough information to either confirm or dismiss the requirement for a booster shot after vaccination against Covid-19.
In an interview to Bloomberg, the WHO chief scientists said, "We do not have the information that's necessary to make the recommendation on whether or not a booster will be needed."
"Call for a third booster shot is also "premature" since high-risk individuals in most of the world haven't yet completed a first course of vaccination," Swaminathan said.
The statement comes at a time when many are questioning the vaccine efficacy against the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants, that have been termed as 'variant of concern.
There is no data on how long their protection against Covid will last. However, scientists suggest that a person who is recovering from COVID-19 and is later fully immunised, he will not need a booster shot at all.
in April, Pfizer and Moderna announced that people who have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines will probably need a booster shot this year and might need an annual shot thereafter.
An expert panel of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)had permitted Bharat Biotech to give a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to a few volunteers in its clinical trials.
Currently, In India, people eligible for inoculation in the country are being in two doses in a gap of up to eight weeks. Bharat Biotech has proposed a booster dose after six months of the second dose.
Experts have said the third booster dose needs more studies to determine if it will help in fighting infections more effectively.