Too early to determine if Covid-19 booster shot is needed, Says WHO Chief Scientist

New Delhi: The Chief Scientist of World Health Organization Soumya Swaminathan has said that it is early to determine whether booster shots of COVID-19 shall be needed to target emerging variants of the virus.

According to reports, Covid booster shots are likely to be rolled out in United Kingdom in the fall to avoid another winter surge for which seven different vaccines are being tested in volunteers in England.

More-transmissible variants, including the beta strain that emerged in South Africa, require higher antibody levels in order to prevent infection. The vaccine makers including Pfizer and Moderna to test whether the altered versions of existing shots shall provide broader immunity.

However, the existing US-approved vaccines work well enough to protect against beta, delta and two other strains that the WHO has designated as variants of concern.

One dose of Novavax’s variant-directed vaccine may provide sufficient protection against the beta strain in individuals previously immunized against Covid-19, added reports.

What is a booster shot?

Vaccines help protect us from dangerous viruses and bacteria. Once you’ve had a shot for a particular disease, you might think you’re always safe from it. But that’s not necessarily the case.

For some diseases, you need another shot to build strong immunity. For others, your protection wears off over time. And some viruses change, or mutate, over time, making your vaccine less effective.

For most vaccinations, you need more one jab to ward off infection. This extra dose of a vaccine is known as a booster shot.

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