A study report published by the Lancet stated that, there is no current need for the general population to be given third doses or booster doses, as two doses of vaccines are already effective at preventing severe cases of covid. The new report published by scientists, including from the World Health Organization concluded that, even with the threat of contagious variants like Delta, ‘booster doses for the general population are not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic’.
The researchers, after reviewing observational studies and clinical trials, found that ‘vaccines remain highly effective against severe symptoms of Covid-19, across all the main virus variants including Delta, although they had lower success in preventing asymptomatic cases of the disease’. ‘Taken as a whole, the currently available studies do not provide credible evidence of substantially declining protection against severe disease, which is the primary goal of vaccination,’ said the lead author and WHO representative, Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo. ‘If vaccines are deployed where they would do the most good, they could hasten the end of the pandemic by inhibiting further evolution of variants’, she added by pointing out that, vaccine doses should be prioritised to people around the world still waiting for a jab.
The Lancet study concluded that the currently present variants had not developed sufficiently, to escape the immune response provided by vaccines currently in use. The report also stated that, if new virus mutations do emerge that are able to evade this response, it would be better to deliver specially modified vaccine boosters aimed at the newer variants, rather than taking a third dose of an existing vaccine.
Some countries have already started offering booster doses of vaccines, over fright about much more dangerous variants, causing the World Health Organization to call for a moratorium on third doses amid concerns about vaccine supplies to poorer nations, where millions are yet to receive their first dose. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has instructed nations to avoid giving out extra Covid vaccine shots until the end of the year. UN health agency has urged all nations to vaccinate at least 10 percent of their populations by the end of this month, and at least 40 percent by the end of this year.