Expert says two doses insufficient for immunity
The WHO has stressed the need for a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot in future.
According to a report published by the organisation earlier this year, third shots of Moderna and Pfizer will be given within a year, while Sinopharm and AstraZeneca boosters will be administered within six months.
In the US, experts have agreed to wait for more data on the benefits of boosters. “Americans should prepare to have a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot within a year,” US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in May.
On Thursday, the United Kingdom decided to administer booster shots to
people who have been fully vaccinated against the deadly virus.
“Our COVID-19 vaccination programme has been a roaring success, with
almost 85% of adults across the UK receiving the first dose and more than 62% getting both doses,” Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said.
“We are now planning ahead to future-proof this progress and protect
our most vulnerable from variants and flu ahead of the winter,” he added.
“Two doses are not enough for sufficient immunity,” Pakistan Medical Council General Secretary Dr Qaiser Sajjad told SAMAA Digital. “The WHO has completed its research on the third jab and if implemented in Pakistan, it will be a great step on the government’s part.”
Pakistan began its national immunisation campaign in February 2021. So far, over three million people across the country have been fully vaccinated.
The country recently faced a vaccine shortage but recovered from it swiftly. Karachi alone is inoculating approximately 63,000 people every day.
“Big vaccine centres in major cities of Sindh have only inoculated 30% of the population,” Qasim Soomro, the province’s health secretary, said. The discussion on booster shots for a country like Pakistan is far-fetched. “We have just immunised 10% of the population,” he added.
Mass vaccination centres such as the Expo Centre in Karachi and Lahore, Jinnah hospital, and the Liaquat National Hospital are vaccinating thousands of people every day. Going to big centers will avoid the inconvenience of being returned unvaccinated.
Experts have encouraged people to get immunised as soon as possible.
Last week, NCOC chief Asad Umar warned that Pakistan may be hit by the fourth wave of the virus if the people stop being cautious.
“In the absence of strong SOP enforcement and continued strong vaccination programme, the fourth wave could emerge in Pakistan in July,” he tweeted.
Umar advised people to follow the SOPs and get vaccinated.