Booster shots to extend the protection of COVID-19 vaccines may be unnecessary for many people, a leading scientist behind the AstraZeneca vaccine branded as Covishield in India said on Friday.
Oxford University Professor Sarah Gilbert told The Telegraph newspaper that immunity from the vaccine was holding up well — even against the delta variant.
While the elderly and those who are immune-compromised may need boosters, the standard two-dose regimen is providing lasting protection for most people, she said.
“We will look at each situation; the immuno-compromised and elderly will receive boosters,″ she said. “But I don’t think we need to boost everybody. Immunity is lasting well in the majority of people.”
The comments come as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, a panel of experts that advises the British government, is expected to make recommendations in the coming days on the scale of any booster program.
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Meanwhile, according to top virologist conducting mass vaccination campaigns on a background of high infection rates generates optimal conditions for breeding even more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants.
However, the natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study.
The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.
The study shows that double vaccinated people were six to 13 times more likely to get infected than unvaccinated people who were previously infected with the coronavirus. The study demonstrates the power of the human immune system.