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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18: The third booster dose has been widely regarded as more effective that the first and second doses of vaccine against Covid-19, particularly in the case of the elderly people, reports Al-Qabas daily. The Guardian’s Health Editor Hannah Devlin says the introduction of the booster dose to older age groups was although seen as controversial initially, is believed to be more effective. This was the view of the since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, to contain the spread of the virus and was a much talked about subject.
During this period, the focus is on the importance of this dose, so why is it considered more beneficial compared to the first and second doses? Another question that hangs in the air is will we continue to need more vaccinations? Even before Omicron emerged, it was clear that boosters would be needed to maintain levels of protection against infection, as well as protect against disease severity, says Devlin. She explained vaccines prompt the body to make neutralizing antibodies that intercept the virus before it infects our cells, but the circulating antibodies can wear off over time. Medical reports have shown that protection against infection decreases after only three months, and that people are 15 times more likely to become infected six months after the second dose. Even if most people remain protected from serious disease, this diminished immunity presents a major public health problem when some adults remain unvaccinated or have immune diseases that make them vulnerable.
The Guardian added, the Omicron variant has made the need for the booster dose even more pressing, as mutations in the virus mean that its elevated protein now looks very different from the original Wuhan strain, which all current vaccines were designed to target. This in turn means that antibodies from previous infection and vaccination will be less efficient in intercepting the Omicron variant. Therefore, we need more antibodies. The paper notes that studies have shown that the booster dose increases antibody levels significantly above the level achieved with the first and second doses, which gives some hope that immune impairment will occur more slowly after the third dose. The newspaper added that studies indicate that the quality of the antibodies is higher after the booster dose, as the immune system continues to refine and amplify the antibodies that are selected and amplified based on subsequent encounters with the virus. Studies confirm a broader and more effective immune response after the third dose.
There is also reason for some optimism that vaccines may withstand the severity of disease more than they do infection. The immune system has a second line of defense in T cells that attack already infected cells. The second line of defense tends to hold out for a longer period. So if the antibodies aren’t good enough to stave off infection, T cells can pounce on the disease before the infection becomes serious.
The newspaper revealed that vaccine makers are working to produce different types of vaccines, which could be ready as soon as March, but the modification of current vaccines will have the same weaknesses if another fast-spreading variable appears soon. Scientists hope that the next generation of vaccines will not only be enough to tackle the circulating strains, but also provide broader immune protection so that it is effective against new mutations. One possibility is a vaccine designed specifically to stimulate a T-cell response to the viral replication machinery rather than the spiky protein, which scientists have suggested could lead to immunity lasting for years instead of months.