Independent Online

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Booster shots restore vaccine efficacy, says WC health department

At the end of January 2022, 77 615 people had received their booster shots in the province since their availability in late December. Photo by Dado Ruvic.

At the end of January 2022, 77 615 people had received their booster shots in the province since their availability in late December. Photo by Dado Ruvic.

Published Feb 3, 2022

Share

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Health Department has urged eligible residents to get their vaccine booster shots, as booster shots “restore vaccine efficacy”.

As more Covid-19 variants emerge, the department says that laboratory research has shown that protection against Covid-19 infection is related to antibody levels.

Story continues below Advertisement

Further, they added that booster vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) or Pfizer vaccine was a reliable and safe way of increasing antibody levels.

“Vaccines have been shown in controlled trials and in the evaluation of national vaccination programmes (for example, in the UK) to reduce severe disease and mortality by up to 95 to 97%. This lifesaving effect has continued, even as variants have emerged,” the department said.

“Research has shown that over time the protection against infection, and to a lesser degree, severe disease may drop to below satisfactory levels. Emerging data consistently show a decline in vaccine effectiveness (called “waning of immunity”) against Covid-19 infection and a more significant decline in older adults. This is when booster doses are recommended. It will also increase immunity against possible new variants,” they added.

At the end of January 2022, 77 615 people had received their booster shots in the province since their availability in late December.

“Individuals who have received one dose of the J&J vaccine will be eligible to receive a booster dose of the J&J vaccine after at least two months (60 days). Individuals who have received two primary doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be eligible to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine after at least six months (180 days),” the department said.

With the already high rates of vaccine hesitancy, the department has reassured residents that the vaccine and the boosters have been tested for safety assurance.

Story continues below Advertisement

“It is understandable that people may have safety concerns about taking up any vaccine. After getting vaccinated for Covid-19, you may well experience some temporary symptoms like those you might notice when you get a flu shot, such as a sore, swollen arm where you got the shot.

“It is far better to experience some mild and inconvenient symptoms following vaccination than to run the risk of having severe Covid-19 disease. Taking a vaccine will protect you and your loved ones from a devastating illness and/or death,” they added.

IOL

Story continues below Advertisement

Share