Wondering if you should get the booster dose of the corona vaccine? Then this article is for you.
It’s been weeks since India reported its first case of the omicron variant, but the cases have been on the rise. While the variant is known to cause milder symptoms, it is still highly transmissible, according to the WHO. Thus, amidst the growing concerns and increasing cases, you might end up questioning the need for a booster dose of the vaccine.
Let’s understand the situation in detail.
Does Omicron reduce the efficacy of vaccines?
Since Omicron spreads faster than other variants, many experts expressed concerns over the possibility of a third wave. However, authorities have predicted that Omicron may have a low impact on the country because of natural antibodies in most people. But what about the ones with vaccine-induced antibodies?
Well, vaccines are known to reduce the risk of infection by 70 per cent. They can also reduce the risk of hospitalisation should you get infected. So, to answer the question, vaccines are not losing efficacy, but proving potent against Omicron.
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Will booster dose increase protection against Omicron?
According to health experts, a booster dose in India can increase the level of immunity in the body and offer better protection against the new variant. In fact, the UK health security agency revealed that a third booster dose of the vaccine could provide better protection against Omicron by 70-75 per cent.
Moreover, a booster shot might be essential for people with a weak immune system, as they can be at a higher risk of serious infection. After all, it is known to increase the level of antibodies to fight against the infection and decrease the risk of severe symptoms. Thus, help fight the Omicron variant effectively.
Given the efficacy of a third dose and increasing Omicron cases, will India need another drive for a booster dose?
Omicron booster dose in India
Considering that a majority of the eligible population has been vaccinated, the government is now studying the need and benefits of a booster shot in India. Here’s what we know so far –
- Before giving a green signal to the booster dose, the government authorities are awaiting reports from the National Institute of Virology on the benefits.
- Similarly, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 and the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation are conducting studies and collecting evidence on the benefits of taking the vaccine 3rd dose in India.
- According to healthcare experts, Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine works best as a booster shot against the COVID-19 virus. However, experts recommend taking Covaxin or protein vaccines like Covovax as a booster shot as it is unavailable in India.
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The bottom line
No doubt, vaccination is the only way to fight this virus efficiently. While studies and tests are still underway, experts believe that a booster is an effective way to increase immunity against the omicron in India.
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