People with comorbidities should receive a booster dose of COVID vaccine: Expert

An expert has recommended that people with comorbidities receive a COVID vaccine booster dose.

Dr Padma Srivastava, Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at AIIMS in New Delhi, told ANI, “We don’t agree on when and what kind of booster dose people should get. Immune memory is the first thing that happens after you vaccinate. Furthermore, immune memory is based on two fundamental systems: humoral and cellular. T and B cells are the most common types. Antibodies function as a type of immune memory. These protective cells are capable of recognising viruses and fighting and killing them. In layman’s terms, this is how you stay safe.”

Dr. Padma went on to say that there have been studies that show antibodies waning after six months of vaccination. She stated that some countries have begun administering booster doses to those who are at risk of infection.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and many countries have now begun to give boosters to that subset of people who are vulnerable to getting infected, vulnerable to getting seriously infected, vulnerable to being hospitalised, and vulnerable to having a high degree of problems if they are infected. This subset of people includes the elderly, healthcare professionals, and those who have come into contact with an infectious process “She stated.

Dr. Padma stated that in India, 35% of the population is fully vaccinated, but that a significant portion, including children, still needs to be fully vaccinated.

When you compare the number of available doses to the number of people who need to be vaccinated, you can decide to give booster doses to people who have already been vaccinated. So there’s an ethical issue there. And that, I believe, is being discussed by a number of government think tanks, and I am confident they will make the correct decision,” she said.

Dr. Padma stated, “On the subset of people who are vaccinated but have comorbidities,” “We have a large number of diabetes patients, as well as people on steroids and cancer treatments. As a result, there are some people on medications whose basic immunity is compromised. And there is now enough evidence that even after vaccinations, these people are not producing enough antibodies. In these cases, they can be given booster doses before the six-month mark. This has occurred in some parts of the world. So there is a commotion and scientific evidence in that section.”

“We also need to understand how much of it is ethical when a large portion of the population has yet to be vaccinated. There is also one caveat. Some vaccines are about to expire, and you need to get them to them as soon as possible. So, in that case, can we quickly deliver, if possible, to some people who would benefit from these booster doses? As a result, these are all operational and logistical issues “Dr. Padma continued.

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