Along with the two doses of vaccine administered by the government, doctors, and research institutions for safety against the deadly coronavirus; a third dose known as the booster dose has also been considered to be introduced for enhanced protection. Now the question arises, who is eligible for the third dose and how and when could it be taken.
For now, the third dose is specifically eligible for immunocompromised people. Got a little confused by the length of the term? Let me explain it in an easier way. The ones with a weaker immune system considered as ‘compromised’ which puts them at a higher risk than others are allowed to get a third shot to ensure more protection from the dangers of the virus which can potentially cause death. Presently, the doses are administered for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines respectively in many countries like the US, France, Israel, and the UK. Many of the population who are immunocompromised were observed to have a feeble response against the initial doses of vaccine, for them, it’s rather compulsory to take the booster dose.
In normal beings, the response to the first two doses of vaccine were around 90-94% as compared to the ones with a suppressed immune system which laid down to 59-72% making them more vulnerable causing breakthrough infection and having the tendency to cause severity in case they come in contact with the virus. It has been noticed that the immunity starts to vain after a period of six months after taking both the doses of a vaccine and this is the best time for a booster dose to boost your immunity and make you less susceptible to the disease. So, a booster dose after six months is all you need for resistance.
So, how can you know if you are immunocompromised or not and are in the need of a third dose? Technically, patients having cancer, kidney or liver problems, HIV AIDS, an organ transplant, steroidal or other drug-based treatment, or any chronic disease are in the zone of having severely compromised immune systems.
India may also think about adding a booster dose to its vaccines, CoviShield, and Covaxin post trials. The government is concerned to vaccinate everyone with both doses before the onset of the third shot. Sputnik-V, a Russian vaccine has also shown interest in the conduction of trials of the third dose. Contrary to that, vaccines like Johnson & Johnson claim to provide complete immunity in one dose itself.
As the race of vaccines continues parallel to the race of the mutated virus, changing its color like a chameleon; we are still hoping for the pandemic to cease and everything to resume the way it was; coming out of the ‘new normal’ and going back to the ‘actual normal’.