When did you receive your Covid-19 booster shot? Many of the first people to be offered a booster shot in early October – those over 65 in care homes and those over 80 – will soon hit the six-month mark.
Another booster will be introduced this year, but when that will happen is still under investigation, but timing is important.
In the meantime, what do we know about how well existing booster vaccines protect us from catching the virus or developing serious illness?
As more older age groups and younger people, who are being stepped up, contract the virus, it is clear that protection is waning over time.
Previous studies show that the effectiveness of a The booster shot stays high for the first two to three months after the bump and then begins to decline. More than three months after receiving the vaccine, protection against infection may have dropped to 25 to 40 percent.
Fortunately, according to studies, protection against serious diseases ebbs more slowly from a peak of about 88-95 percent at the beginning to over 75 percent more than three months later.
Add to the mix the fact that the BA.1 form of Omicron has now been inherited by the BA.2 strain which is even more contagious.
The number of patients with Covid-19 who are seriously ill is relatively stable. Yesterday, 54 Covid-19 patients were in intensive care while more than 1,600 are hospitalized with the virus. We know many are in hospital with other illnesses but have tested positive for Covid-19.
The numbers needing to be put on a ventilator have fallen sharply since the worst of the days.
The logic for now is that the 716,000 people who are still eligible for a booster shot – excluding those over 16, who will have to wait three months after contracting the virus – should take advantage of the offer to get themselves protect and try to get rid of it faster wave.
However, figures show that only 18,200 booster shots were given last week, down from 12,300 the week before, impacted by the St Patrick’s Festival celebrations.
There is evidence of ‘vaccination fatigue’, with yet another hurdle to overcome as Ireland grapples with this strange new world with no Covid restrictions but rising cases and overwhelmed hospitals. It is up to the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) to decide when a second dose is recommended for people who have already received a booster shot.
People in England who are over 75 are now being offered a second booster and Australia, preparing for next winter, is giving a further shot to vulnerable people over 65 and care home residents from next month.
Nursing home residents here have had very high uptake for booster shots, but now there are outbreaks in about 67 percent of those facilities.
Elderly people with Covid-19 also make up a significant portion of hospitalized patients with the virus. Professor Paddy Mallon, Infectious Diseases Advisor at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, is part of a UCD-led European team looking into the ideal time for a second booster dose. It is recruiting over 18s who have received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine to email@example.com to ask them to draw blood Test and check antibody levels to indicate when to give another booster dose.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/why-timing-of-second-covid-booster-is-key-41497208.html Why the timing of the second Covid booster is crucial