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Ah, Covid-19! Well, we continue to scream and sigh at the very mention of this virus, because we are so done with it. Every time, we march into a new year, dreaming of the end of the pandemic — a new variant strikes and ruins it all. A case in point is the Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible and has attacked almost every other person today. Most people are referring to the virus as ‘mild’, but does it apply to your elderly parents, who are already suffering from comorbidities?
Well, it is always better to be safe than sorry, which is why it is essential that they get a booster dose, over and above their two vaccine doses. Ever since the booster or precaution doses were introduced on January 10, a total of 86.87 frontline workers and those above 60 years with comorbodities have been administered these doses. There’s still not much information available regarding other age groups.
Dr Arunesh Kumar, HOD and Senior consultant, Pulmonology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, tells HealthShots, “Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, older adults, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions are not only at a greater risk of getting infected with the coronavirus, but also more likely to develop severe infection.”
Still, some obstinate oldies are all about “Why must we get a booster dose when even two vaccine shots aren’t working.”
1. People over 60 years are more prone to developing severe Covid-19 infection. During the second wave, we witnessed many hospitalizations, and this can happen even in case of mild Covid-19, if senior citizens have pre-existing comorbidities. This makes it very crucial for them to get a Covid-19 booster dose.
2. People over the age of 60 years have largely received vaccine shots much before the others. That’s because the older adults were the first ones to receive their two initial vaccine shots, so there is a possibility that their immunity might be waning. A drop in immunity levels increases their risk of infection.
3. People above 60 years don’t need to show any certificate to get their booster dose. Earlier, booster or precautionary doses were being given based on 20 health conditions including, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney disease (people on dialysis), those receiving stem cell transplant, cirrhosis, cancer, sickle cell disease, and more. But now, people over 60 with comorbidities do not need to show any certificate or prescription to show they belong to the high-risk category to be eligible for a “precaution dose” or booster against Covid-19.
As per new guidelines, medical professionals, frontline health staff and senior citizens with co-morbidities can take the booster dose.
4. Besides maintaining their protection against the virus, it will help prevent the further spread of the virus among those who are not vaccinated, such as children under the age of five years.
5. Studies have shown that with a booster dose, the duration of protection against severe disease remains high. That’s reason enough to get your parents to get a booster shot as soon as they can or when it’s their turn!