NEW DELHI: With Covid cases rising worldwide, doctors in Delhi are advising all eligible people, especially those over 60, to get their booster shots.
Doctors concede that while Covid vaccines do not guarantee complete protection against the disease, they, especially the updated ones, minimize the impact of the disease and help speed recovery. dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Chief Medical Officer, Max Healthcare, reiterated that vaccination can reduce the severity of Covid, saying: “The likelihood of hospitalization and mortality decreases.”
He added that many studies have shown that at two doses plus the third dose with caution the blood accumulates a good amount of antibodies for up to six months. After this time, however, antibody levels begin to decline and the duration of protection provided by fourth or more doses is consistent. less than six months.
The current mutants of the Covid virus are highly infectious and have a very short incubation period. Therefore, many people can become infected in a short period of time.” As the general Indian population is vaccinated and most have been exposed to the virus, the disease is likely to behave like a mild flu and any outbreak or wave will be brief,” considered Budhiraja countries is BF 7, a variant of the Omicron tribe. It actually behaved no differently than previous Omicron mutants.”
Cases of BF.7 have been mild, but increased genomic surveillance is needed to detect changes in the mutant strain early and consequently improve the testing, isolation and handling procedure. ‘ Said Budhiraja. Regarding the additional injections, Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Chief Internal Medicine Physician at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals: “Everyone definitely needs to take for the third dose.
But for the fourth dose, we need more data to see if everyone needs it. In any case, people who are immunocompromised or people over 65 could benefit from it. Chatterjee also said that an updated vaccine is now needed due to the lack of information on the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the current variant.
In the US and Canada, even people under the age of 60 have taken four or five doses after vaccines were updated. As for an updated Covid-19 vaccine, Chatterjee said it included both the original viral strain component and any new Omicron variants to provide better protection against a specific Covid strain.
Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, an epidemiologist, public policy and health systems expert, also said there was no evidence a fourth injection was beneficial. “That is why very few countries give their population a fourth injection. According to my immunological and epidemiological understanding, the fourth injection is not currently required for Covid-19,” he said. Lahariya claimed that due to multiple exposures to the infection, the immune system received a boost in the first three waves, which was equivalent to vaccination, and therefore people in India “did not need a boost, while a fourth injection does not bring much benefit .”
“Budhiraja said that only the doctor can decide whether an individual should be given additional doses of the vaccine. dr Manoj Sharma, Chief Physician of Internal Medicine at Vasant Kunj Fortis Hospital, stressed that the booster dose was BF.7, a sub-line of Omicron, so the currently available vaccines would take care of that. Sharma explained that the effectiveness of the vaccines used in China is 54-55%.
In comparison, India had superior vaccines with an efficacy of 79-80%. He also noted that during the April-May 2021 delta wave, China imposed massive lockdowns and kept its population isolated, the Indian population was exposed to the virus and its variants, and even recovered from the infection. Today, the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc in China, while India, although it has reported some cases, has not felt a hospitalization crisis. Sharma attributes this mainly to vaccinations.
“Although there are not many cases of BF.7 variant in our country, another surge could happen at any time due to international travel. So we have to be prepared,” Sharma said, adding that vaccines remain effective for at least one year.