Why is a Covid-19 booster shot the need of the hour? An expert weighs in

Published on: 29 December 2021, 14:00 pm IST

A Covid-19 booster shot can increase the antibodies level in one's body. An expert tells you why the elderly and frontline workers need it.

covid-19 booster
Make sure to get the Covid-19 booster shot. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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With the onset of winter, India has been reporting a constant increase in Covid-19 cases and its new variant Omicron. Amidst this, the announcement of the Covid-19 booster shot might have come as a relief to many.

What is a booster shot?

Whenever any person is administered any vaccine, it can be given as per the schedule so that protection against the virus is maintained. When immunity and clinical protection declines over time, booster doses are given to vaccinated people who have completed a series of primary vaccinations.

Basically, the objective of the booster dose is to restore vaccine effectiveness, which has been deemed inadequate and is no longer sufficient. It is evident that after the span of six months, the antibodies level in the body goes down and the
chances of breakthrough infection arise. Therefore, there is a need for booster doses in people.

Covid-19 booster shot

It has been more than six months when healthcare workers and the elderly had their second dose of covid-19 vaccination in India. While the pandemic is still persistent and different covid-19 variants are being reported worldwide, it has become necessary for people to get the booster dose.

According to various studies, the different Covid-19 variants reduced the efficacy of the vaccine. To continue to protect people from severe disease, a high antibody level in the body is needed, which can be completed through a booster dose.

Covid-19 booster doses will augment the efficacy of the vaccine and protection from different variants of the coronavirus can be maintained. This efficacy can be attained by single vaccines also and by mix matching of two vaccines.

Covid-19 booster
Get ready for Covid-19 booster shot. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When will India begin Covid-19 booster shots?

In an effort to tackle new Covid-19 variants, India will begin administering booster doses to medical and frontline workers with adults over 60 and with underlying medical conditions from January 10, 2022.

As Prime Minister Modi announced, a third dose, called a precautionary dose, will be administered to frontline workers and the elderly with underlying medical conditions. People over 60 years of age with underlying medical conditions or other health problems can take an additional dose of the vaccine from January 10, on the recommendation of a doctor.

The last word

With the surge in Covid-19 cases, people need to follow pandemic- appropriate behavior by maintaining social distance, wearing masks and avoiding gatherings. Although these people can be monitored with some rules to an extent, the people who fall under the “high risk” category owing to their health conditions need to be protected.

Covid-19 booster
Follow pandemic- appropriate behavior, weat mask and get vaccinated. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Individuals who are above 60 years are mostly co-morbid and come under the high risk category. Healthcare workers who are in contact with patients suffering from Covid-19 are also at higher risk of getting infected.

Also, it should be remembered that the elderly and healthcare workers were the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. A considerable time has elapsed and to boost their immunity booster shots are necessary.

Dr Rajesh Chawla Dr Rajesh Chawla

Dr Rajesh Chawla is a senior consultant of pulmonary medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

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