Vaccines are effective enough to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 and that there is currently no need for the general population to take a third dose, according to a study published Sept. 13 in the medical journal The Lancet.
Some states have begun offering extra doses for fear of the more contagious variant, Delta, which has forced the World Health Organization to call for a moratorium on third doses, following concerns about the supply of vaccines in poor countries, where millions persons have not yet received the first dose of the vaccine, writes AFP.
But the report compiled by scientists, which also included scientists from the WHO, concluded that with Delta threatening “boosting doses in the population are not appropriate at this stage of the pandemic.”
The study authors, who reviewed observational studies and clinical trials, found that vaccines continue to be highly effective against severe COVID-19 symptoms in all major variants of the virus, including the Delta variant, although they were more successful. low in the prevention of asymptomatic disease.
“Overall, the current studies do not provide reliable data on the substantial decline in protection against serious disease, which is the main purpose of vaccination,” said study lead author Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo, a WHO scientist.
She said vaccine doses should be prioritized for people around the world who are still waiting to be vaccinated.
“If vaccines are sent where they would do best, where they would speed up the end of the pandemic by preventing the emergence of new variants,” she added.
The researchers, in a study entitled “Reviews to boost the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines,” also said that booster doses may be inappropriate for some individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems, who do not produce the right response. immune after receiving two doses of vaccine.
Countries like France have already started giving third doses to the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, while Israel has gone even further, offering children 12 years and older the third dose, five months after vaccination. full.
The study published in The Lancet concludes that existing variants are not developed enough to evade the immune response provided by the vaccines currently in use.
The study authors argued that if new mutations of the virus emerge and are able to escape this immune response, it would be better to administer modified booster doses to combat new variants than existing vaccines.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for the avoidance of additional vaccines by the end of the year.
The WHO has set a target for all states to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population by the end of this month and at least 40 percent by the end of this year.
The organization has also said it wants at least 70 percent of the world’s population to be vaccinated by the middle of next year.
But Tedros has complained that while almost all rich countries have achieved the goal of vaccinating 10 percent of the population and over 70 percent of these states have managed to vaccinate 40 percent of the population “no low-income country has not achieved either of these two percentages ”of vaccination.
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