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New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended those with weak immune systems use an additional dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It argued that due to weak immune systems people are at higher risk of disease or ‘breakthrough infection’ than others even after vaccination.
Scientists are calling cases of infection after vaccination ‘breakthrough infections’ because coronavirus breaks the protective wall that the vaccine provides.
Third Dose Recommended
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization at the World Health Organization said that people with weak immune systems are at higher risk of serious Covid-19 disease even after primary vaccination.
Vaccine director Katherine O’ Brien said the third dose of the vaccine has been suggested on the basis of evidence and the breakthrough infection rate has been reported mostly from people with weak immune systems.
The panel also advised those who completed vaccination with vaccines manufactured by Chinese companies Sinopharm and Sinovac. According to the panel, those above 60 years of age should get an additional dose one to three months after vaccination.
Citing evidence revealed during research in Latin America, it was reported that vaccine protection decreases over time.
Jokham Hombek, secretary of the independent panel of experts, explained that Sinopharm and Sinovac’s observation data show that the vaccine performs less effectively after two doses in the elderly group. He said, “We also know that the third dose produces a strong immune response. So we hope that it will provide better protection to people with weak immune systems and the elderly.”
WHO Panel Review Booster Dose On November 11
The panel urged health officials using Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines to first complete two doses of vaccine coverage in the elderly population and then work on the third dose.
The WHO group is set up on independent experts who formulate a policy but the regulator does not make recommendations. O Brien explained that the panel will review global data of booster doses at a meeting held on November 11 amid questions on a possible lack of immunity and variants.
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