COVID-19 booster shots likely needed annually, WHO estimates

COVID-19 booster shots likely needed annually, WHO estimates

Annual COVID-19 booster shots are likely necessary for “most vulnerable” individuals, according to the World Health Organization.

The talks about the COVID-19 booster shots continue to develop these past few months. This comes after experts are seeing that the current vaccines may not provide long-lasting immunity.

As scientists persist to find the answers, officials from the World Health Organization do the same. In an internal document seen by Reuters, the health agency now has initial estimations regarding booster shots.

The report does not explain, though, how they have come up with the conclusions. But, it bases the assertions on the emerging COVID-19 variants, adding that regular updates on vaccines are necessary to meet these threats.

COVID-19 booster shots to “maintain high levels of immunity”

The report points out that the COVID-19 booster shots are necessary annually for the “most vulnerable” individuals. These include the elderly, and those who are living with health conditions.

As for the general public, the World Health Organization deems that boosters are likely suitable every two years. But, in its worst-case scenario, everyone would need booster vaccine shots every year to maintain strong immunity against coronavirus and all of its variants.

Reports noted, however, that these estimates are “subject to changes,” adding that the document is still a “work in progress.”

COVID-19 booster shots to "maintain high levels of immunity"

The actual need remains unclear

Despite all the apparent buzz surrounding COVID-19 booster shots, nothing is “set in stone” yet. Moreover, there are no guarantees that they are, indeed, necessary or not, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dr. Kawsar Talaat, who is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, shared some of his insights on the matter with the publication. He noted that there is no data yet, revealing how long immunity will last following a COVID-19 vaccination.

The expert explained that this is because “vaccines are so new,” and more studies are necessary. Talaat emphasized, though, that the current vaccines are “good,” adding that they “induce a really good immune response.”

Calls for third vaccine shots grow

Amid uncertainties, vaccine makers Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc, alongside BioNTech, remain vocal about their views about booster shots. CNBC said that these companies believe that the world will “soon need” them for further immunity against COVID-19.

Although assertions remain inconclusive, some countries are already signaling their potential need for vaccine boosters. The U.S. and the U.K. have reportedly hinted that they could roll out such shots within a year.

The apparent clamor for the COVID-19 booster shots comes as the more transmissible Delta variant continues to spread across the globe. Nevertheless, the current vaccines reportedly remain resilient to new variants.

Images courtesy of CNA/YouTube

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