Covid booster shot restores protectiveness and limits transmission, new study finds

NHS in England begin delivering booster jabs

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The study looked at samples from 11,000 people infected with the COVID Delta variant in Israel and found booster shots reduced viral loads. Viral load refers to the amount of virus that can be detected, high viral loads can mean the person is more infectious.

It finds infectiousness protection starts diminishing for patients two months after vaccinations.

Nonetheless, researchers found that diminishing vaccine effectiveness is restored following the booster vaccine.

This finding comes from a preliminary report of work that has not been certified by peer review. It was conducted jointly by the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and KSM, the Maccabi Research and Innovation Center and published on the MedRxiv website.

“These results suggest that the vaccine is initially effective in reducing infectiousness of breakthrough infections even with the Delta variant, and that while this protectiveness effect declines with time it can be restored, at least temporarily, with a booster vaccine,” it reads.

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It adds that it is yet to be seen for how long the booster’s renewed effect of reducing viral loads will last, and whether there will be a need for additional booster shots in the future against the same variant or others.

It suggests that as the booster points to lower infectiousness this, together with other means such as social distancing and masks, “could help impede the spread of the pandemic”.

The UK government recently announced that vaccine boosters are going to be introduced this Autumn to offer extra protection from coronavirus.
It has purchased 35 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine ahead of their plan to offer booster jabs to the most at-risk groups.

The third jab will be offered six months after the second dose.

According to government figures, more than 40 million people in the UK are now double-jabbed.

Following the initial Covid vaccine roll-out, the most clinically vulnerable categories will be invited to receive a vaccine booster first.

People do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their booster vaccine, the NHS will be in touch when they become eligible for the jab with around 4.5 million people in priority groups eligible for a booster over the coming weeks.

Some of those in the original nine priority groups will not be eligible for the top-up until the new year, NHS England has said.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid commented on the roll out of boosters, stating: “I urge everyone who is eligible to come forward for their booster when invited, to prolong the protection that the vaccine offers those most at risk as we approach the winter months”.

The government also recently accepted the advice of the four chief medical officers to offer a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine to all healthy 12 to 15-year-olds.

These jabs are going to be delivered in schools and places of education.

Those who are eligible for the booster include those living in residential care homes for older adults.

All adults aged 50 years or over should also be invited for a booster, as should frontline health and social care workers.

The NHS will also offer boosters to all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, as well as adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

“Local areas have already been identifying and vaccinating people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed with a third jab following updated guidance from the JCVI in early September,” NHS England states.

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