Experts are already talking about a round of 1:22 booster shots
(CNN Spanish) – Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are studying whether a booster dose of the covid-19 vaccine would be needed in the future. Some experts say that this additional dose would provide protection against variants of the coronavirus.
Dr. Elmer Huerta explains more details in this episode.
You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.
Hi, I’m dr. Elmer Huerta and this is his daily dose of information about the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.
Today we will see what is known about the much-talked about need for a booster dose of vaccines against the new coronavirus.
Vaccines and their protection
First, it is necessary to remember that not all vaccines available to humanity provide the same level of protection over time.
Due to various factors, including the characteristics of the virus and the type of response of the body’s defense system, some vaccines give us protection for life, while others have a temporary effect.
An example is the measles vaccine, which provides lifetime protection to 96% of those vaccinated, while the flu vaccine has to be changed every year.
In this sense, while the protection time of vaccines against covid-19 is still under study, some experts believe that it is possible that vaccines provide prolonged protection, more similar to that we have against measles, than against flu.
That does not prevent, however, that vaccine manufacturers have already begun to prepare so that, in the event that phase 3 and vaccine effectiveness studies determine that a booster is needed in the coming months, the vaccine is already developed.
The covid-19 vaccine: will there be a booster dose?
In that sense, in February, Pfizer / BioNTech announced that it had begun a clinical trial to determine if a third dose of its vaccine could be protective to people who had already received two previous doses between six and 12 months before.
On the other hand, the Moderna laboratory recently reported that a booster, consisting of half the usual dose of its vaccine, accelerated the immune response against the B.1.351 variants, identified in South Africa, and the P.1, detected in Brazil.
In that same report, Moderna said that a booster dose, consisting of a vaccine specifically designed against variant B.1.351, was very effective.
For its part, Oxford / AstraZeneca recently revealed to The Financial Times that a third dose of its vaccine is very effective in producing neutralizing antibodies, a very important fact because there are doubts about the long-term effectiveness of vaccines that use vectors viral -such as that of Oxford / AstraZeneca or that of the Gamaleya Institute.
The fear is that the body may produce antibodies against cold viruses used as viral vectors, and that the vaccine may be less effective over time.
The combination of vaccines vs. a booster dose
In that sense, a very interesting approach would be to be able to combine vaccines. In this case, as a Spanish and British study have shown, start with AstraZeneca and complete it with Pfizer, or vice versa.
The purpose of the booster doses would be to stimulate the immune system of memory T cells, so that it can, in turn, command the production of antibodies by the B lymphocytes.
In any case, despite the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief US official in epidemiology, has said that a booster dose of the covid-19 vaccines is likely to be needed a year after receiving the first one, As of this writing, it has not yet been decided if that will be necessary.
Knowing, on the other hand, that messenger RNA vaccines can be changed to combat any variant in just 6 weeks, it is very important to be very attentive to the news that may come at any time.
Do you have questions about the coronavirus?
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