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Booster dose confers higher level of protection against infection with Omicron in older adults: UK study

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Protection against serious infections from Omicron decreases within months after the first two doses (File)

London:

A third top-up booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides a higher level of protection against serious disease in older adults than the Omicron variant, a latest UK study concluded on Saturday.

An analysis by the UK Health Protection Agency (UKHSA) showed that almost three months after the third time, the safety from hospitalization in people aged 65 and over remained around 90 per cent.

Whereas with a booster shot, the duration of protection against severe disease is longer, protection against mild symptomatic infection is more short-lived and drops to about 30 percent at about three months.

The UKHSA study examined booster shots in those over the age of 65, who were among the first to be eligible when the UK booster vaccination rollout begins in mid-September 2021.

The latest findings also show that protection against serious infection from the Omicron version of COVID-19 diminishes within months after the first two doses.

“With just two doses of the vaccine, protection against serious infections drops to about 70 percent after three months and to 50 percent after six months,” the study said.

The UK’s Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) said it has taken this latest evidence into account in its ongoing review of the booster program and decided against the need for a fourth booster dose rollout at this stage.

“Current data suggest that booster doses continue to provide high levels of protection against serious infections, even for the most vulnerable age groups. For this reason, the committee concluded that There is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, although this will continue to be reviewed,” said Professor Wei Shen Lim, JCVI’s Chair of COVID-19 Immunization.

“The data is highly encouraging and emphasizes the value of the booster jab. With the wide spread of Omicron, I encourage everyone to come forward for their booster dose, or if not vaccinated, their first two doses. For, encourage them to come forward to enhance their protection against serious illness,” he said.

JCVI has concluded that there is no urgent need to introduce a fourth jab for the most vulnerable groups such as care home residents and those over the age of 80 and that priority should be given to continuing the first booster shots for all age groups. needed.

However, extremely vulnerable patients with a weakened immune system are still advised to administer a fourth shot to receive complete vaccination.

More than 35 million boosters and a third dose have been administered across the UK with the government’s “Get Boosted Now” campaign late last year to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases, powered by Omicron Editions.

It comes at a time when Britain’s daily infection rate remains high, with another 178,250 cases reported on Friday.

Hospitalizations, which have been relatively low, have also begun to increase in vulnerable age groups.

As a result, widespread staff absenteeism due to self-isolation has put severe pressure on the country’s National Health Service (NHS), with military personnel drawn to support in some areas.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I think we have to be honest when we look at the NHS and say it will be a rocky few weeks ahead.”

About 4 per cent of hospital workers in England – about 36,000 – were off work for reasons related to COVID-19 during the week ending 2 January. When the absence of other disease is added, this brings the total to 9 percent – ​​almost double what would typically be seen at this time of year.

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