- Recently, Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that they would seek regulatory authorization for a third booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine (BNT162b2)
- This development comes amid the global spread of highly transmissible Delta strain of Covid-19.
- A booster is a means of strengthening one’s immune system against a particular pathogen.
- It may be exactly the same original vaccine, in which case its goal is to increase the magnitude of protection by producing more antibodies.
- Scientists can also tweak what goes into the booster if they are aiming to protect people from a new variant — a version of the virus that’s mutated significantly from the original version people were vaccinated against.
- These shots are only for the fully-vaccinated.
- These boosters will be particularly helpful for the elderly and immunocompromised people whose bodies were unable to mount a robust protection against the virus following the first two shots.
- Secondly, if there are studies showing that a new variant can sneak past the antibodies created by a specific vaccine, the need of a tweaked booster shot arises then.
- Booster shots are yet to get a nod from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- In fact, the WHO has expressed caution in encouraging third doses.
- Such a recommendation is unnecessary and premature given the paucity of data on booster shots and the fact that high-risk individuals in much of the world still haven’t been fully vaccinated.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT