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Boost Now for COVID-19 or Wait?

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Covid-19 is a global pandemic whose variants are still present. So, a boost for covid is needed. To know more about it, read the article below.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Published At May 31, 2023
Reviewed AtMay 31, 2024

What Is COVID-19?

Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by transmission from one person to another. Its first prevalence was seen in 2019 and is still there worldwide. It has been noted as a global pandemic. It is caused due to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) virus. This disease is asymptomatic in some cases while showing symptoms in some people, affecting their respiratory tract. Other mild symptoms show the presence of a cold, cough, fever, etc. It was seen that many cases required almost no or very less treatment. People with systemic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc., priorly showed severe symptoms.

In the second wave, they faced critical issues like breathing difficulties and a major need for supplemental oxygen. Black fungus cases, too, were seen in people having diabetes. The second wave had shooked the entire world, leaving the medical system overburdened.

What Is the Management for COVID-19?

The management includes preventive measures and treatment. Since the virus keeps mutating, a fixed treatment protocol cannot be made. One should focus more on preventive measures as it is a transmissible disease. The preventive measures include:

  • Covid appropriate behavior: It means avoiding physical contact during the illness, using masks, practicing hand sanitization, social distancing, avoiding public gatherings, etc.

  • Proper testing of all the new cases and isolating the affected people.

  • Abiding the various governments imposed curfews, lockdowns, etc.

Vaccines: They have played a major role in reducing the risk of disease by decreasing the severity of Covid-19 with almost no or very less incidence of death. They have also helped in the further spread of the disease.

Is Vaccination Helpful in Fighting Against COVID-19?

The mutating nature of the SARS-CoV has made it very difficult to identify and treat it, so vaccination is the only solution in this global pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccines should be available to everyone, everywhere. As WHO (World Health Organisation) recommended, every country should focus on vaccination as much as possible and help prevent their people from seriously falling ill. All countries should try to vaccinate at least 70 % of their population, prioritizing 100 % vaccination of the healthcare workers and the people from a more vulnerable group, such as those having underlying systemic conditions, immunocompromised, or above 60 years of age.

Various countries have their own set of vaccination protocols, and many vaccines are available in the market, for example, Covishield, Covaxin, Pfizer, Sputnik, etc. In India, vaccination started for elderly individuals first. In May 2021, it was available to all above 18 years of age. The booster doses were also made available to frontline workers, elderly people, and common people.

What Is Important, Boost Now for COVID or Wait?

As it has been seen that vaccination and booster doses play an important role in the prevention and reduction of the severity of the disease, it is a wise decision to get a person’s immunity enhanced with the available booster doses. A booster dose is an additional dose given as an injection or orally after the primary administration of the causative microorganism. It gives extra strength to the immune system by restocking the antibodies to a protective level, which was obtained initially after the primary dose administration but became less effective later. The extra dose is termed a booster dose.

In the middle of 2022, a booster dose was available in most countries. A bivalent booster dose with SARS-CoV-2 and omicron virus components was developed. It has helped people fight against the new variant. A person becomes eligible for a booster dose after completing the primary vaccination series. However, there are different eligibility criteria; for example, in India, a person is eligible for a booster dose only after completing 39 weeks of the primary series.

Why Are People Hesitant About Covid-19 Booster Doses?

As the emergence of new variants is seen, breakthrough infections and reinfections are seen in a majority of the cases. It is also noted that the severity of the disease was reduced in the vaccinated people and those who received booster shots. However, people across the world have shown mixed reactions toward booster doses. Some are very keen on it, while others have shown hesitancy.

Despite the scientifically approved vaccines, it is a big challenge for the government to convince people for booster doses administration. This is mainly due to a lack of education about new strains like omicron and delta variants, lack of knowledge, demographic status, etc. Some people are hesitant due to their side effects, which include systemic and local factors, such as mild fever, rashes, sore arms, headache, nausea, etc. These adverse effects are mostly mild and occur naturally as the immune system responds to any foreign body in a particular way.

Few people also have concerns about the vaccine’s effectiveness against new variants and the need to take booster doses. The rural areas and the weaker sections of society must be made aware of the benefits of vaccination by leading educational campaigns, showing actual data on how the severity of Covid-19 is reduced in vaccinated individuals, or with the help of the media.

Conclusion:

This article gives details of Covid-19, its impact, preventive measures, and the need for vaccination and booster doses. It has been seen that the severity of the disease got reduced in vaccinated individuals. To eradicate this global pandemic, there must be universal acceptance of the available booster doses for COVID-19 among the diverse eligible population. However, the hesitancy in people from different parts of the world towards booster doses for various reasons is a big challenge for the government of different countries.

To tackle such a situation, a proper educational campaign for vaccine drives is needed, especially in the rural and weaker sections of society who are more hesitant towards vaccine administration. It is important to eradicate all the mistrust and myths created in their minds. This can be further dealt with by providing accurate and factual information about COVID-19, its vaccination, and the need for booster doses from time to time, and promoting trust and acceptance among all towards the vaccine.

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

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