Boosters Not Viable Option For Variants Warns WHO
It is not a great idea to use original vaccines as booster shots, warned World Health Organisation (WHO). It is not a viable strategy against emerging variants. In a formal statement, a group of experts have stated that, “A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable,” the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-Co-VAC).
Strangely, it seems that the existing vaccines are proving to be less effective against the new Omicron variant and therefore does not help symptomatic cases of the virus. However, the vaccine does prevent severe contraction and mitigation of the infection too.
According to the WHO, the current composition of the vaccine might need an updation. It is therefore not the viable option to be used as a booster shot as of now. A formal statement continues that, “Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current Covid-19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that (they) continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs (variants of concern), including Omicron and future variants.”
In quick response, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has already made a statement that their company will roll out an updated vaccine shot of its existing composition by as early as March 2022. On updating the composition of existing vaccines to combat the spread of emerging COVID-19 variants, other vaccine makers such as Moderna, Johnson&Johnson and AstraZeneca are yet to react. Meanwhile, the European Union regulators have already warned that frequent Covid-19 booster shots may not be feasible. Repeat booster doses every four months could eventually weaken the immune system and tire out people, according to the European Medicines Agency.