Fourth Dose of COVID Vaccine

Why do we require the Fourth Dose of COVID Vaccine?

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A few months ago, countries around the world started reliving the stringent COVID-19 restrictions. There were several reasons to back their decision—the decreasing number of cases, faster vaccination drives, increased awareness among people, to name a few. However, the pandemic has again started to haunt the world as some countries are experiencing a considerable spike in the number of cases in the past few days.

Voices for the Fourth Dose

Presently, several questions are being raised about the potency of the vaccines against the newly emerging COVID variants. To curtail the pandemic and its impacts, several experts are increasingly becoming vocal about why the fourth dose of COVID vaccine is necessary.

Albert Bourla (CEO of Pfizer) is the latest addition to this list as he recently said in an interview that Pfizer is submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), describing the need for the fourth dose of its COVID vaccine. “Right now, the way we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now. The protection that you are getting from the third, is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. But it’s not good against infections,” he said.

Why it is Necessary?

The effectiveness of the third dose of the vaccine seems to be shrinking over time. A report published by CDC last month revealed that vaccine effectiveness among people—who had received the third dose of one of the mRNA vaccines four to five months ago—decreased to 66%, which was previously 78%. Moreover, since the previous vaccines were prominently targeted against the delta and delta plus variants, a foolproof option against the omicron is still awaited.

This is reflected in the increasing cases in China as well as Europe. Almost half of the European countries recorded a surge in COVID cases in the past week. The situation in China also seems worsening over the past few days, as the number of cases has reached a two-year high and the country is going back to lockdowns. 

Anticipations and Future Preparations

The primary concern with the third dose of the vaccine was its effectiveness. The fourth dose is anticipated to provide protection against all COVID variants including omicron for at least one year. While there are still a lot of uncertainties about the need and effectiveness of the fourth dose, countries like Israel have already started offering the fourth dose of the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens.

As of now—based on the available information about the fourth dose—we can say that you should definitely take the fourth dose of the vaccine whenever you are eligible!

Also Read:
Another coronavirus vaccine trial begins in US
Pfizer Vaccine: FDA Approves Use of Extra Doses



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