By Hafeezoh Adekola
A third Covid-19 vaccine dose booster shot will likely be necessary in the future, health authorities indicated today (Friday), Macaulay News Agency reports.
In this week’s pandemic press update press conference, Conde S. Januario Hospital Clinical Director, Tai Wa Hou, stated that even though two doses of a novel coronavirus vaccine “effectively prevented most severe cases and deaths from occurring,” there are plans worldwide to implement measures for the third dose of vaccination.
“With the passage of time, the protective power of vaccines will decline, so we will study the relevant data and practices, and introduce relevant measures in due course,” Tai said today.
However, no exact timeline for the third vaccine shot round to be initiated was provided. As for allowing residents to be vaccinated with different vaccine types, health authorities only indicated they are collecting and studying the relevant data on this possibility.
According to the most recent update, a total of 265,516 people in Macau have been vaccinated with at least a dose of either Sinopharm or BioNTech vaccines, about 40 per cent of the local population, of which only 170,829 received the required two doses.
Recently Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, cautioned that without more data on the safety and efficacy, taking additional doses beyond the two-dose regimen or mixing and matching vaccines is “a little bit of a dangerous trend”.
Pfizer-BioNTech reported in July that early studies involving people who were given a third dose about six months after their second dose showed strong antibody responses five to 10 times higher than levels after two doses.
Based on those results, the companies have requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve a booster dose of its vaccine.
Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are studying different versions of their vaccines as a possible third dose, while J&J is studying the effects of the second dose of its existing vaccine.
Some countries have already initiated or expressed intentions to start rounds for a third vaccination dose.
Back in may the UAE and Bahrain announced they would be offering a third dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for those who received their second dose at least six months ago, and then allowed for residents to also take the Pfizer/BioNTech as a booster shot.
Israeli health officials have also recently announced that the country would provide a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to people with weaker immune systems, including those undergoing chemotherapy or people with immune-related conditions such as HIV.
The decision was based on increased cases of Delta infections in a country with one of the highest vaccination rates worldwide.
As of July 14 2021, a total of 3,402,275,866 vaccine doses have been administered globally.
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