Covid 19 Vaccine boosters not 'appropriate' now: Lancet
Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic, according to a report in The Lancet published on Monday.
New Delhi: Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic, according to a report in The Lancet published on Monday.
An expert review of scientific evidence to date has concluded that vaccines are effective enough at preventing severe Covid-19 and that there is no need at this moment for the general population to be given third doses.
The conclusion by scientists, including those from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), show that vaccination had 95% efficacy against severe disease both from the Delta variant and from the Alpha variant, and over 80 per cent efficacy at protecting against any infection from these variants.
"Although the idea of further reducing the number of Covid-19 cases by enhancing immunity in vaccinated people is appealing, any decision to do so should be evidence-based and consider the benefits and risks for individuals and society," the study said.
"Current evidence does not appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high," it added.
According to the study, even if some gain can ultimately be obtained from boosting, it will not outweigh the benefits of providing initial protection to the unvaccinated.
If vaccines are deployed where they would do the most good, they could hasten the end of the pandemic by inhibiting further evolution of variants, it said.
The Lancet study concluded that the current variants had not developed sufficiently to escape the immune response provided by vaccines currently in use.
The Lancet study comes at a time when the US is moving closer to offering booster shots to large segments of the population even as it struggles to persuade Americans to get vaccinated in the first place.