As the union government begins its 75 days – ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsava’ today to provide free Booster Dose to all adults (18 years and above) free of cost, let’s have the doctors’ views on the importance of precautionary dose, The Statesman reported.
What is Covid booster dose?
Importance of Covid booster dose
According to Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Director &Unit Head Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, “Booster doses are very important to stop Covid 19 pandemic. The data available so far has clearly shown that the antibody level against corona virus starts weaning after around 6 months. Booster dose helps in keeping the antibody levels at reasonably high side, so that the infection doesn’t cause much damage.”
He further added that since the gap between 2nd dose and booster dose has been modified to 6 months from earlier 9 months, better immunity levels can be achieved when we are exposed to a dangerous infection due to falling levels of protective antibodies.
Dr. Shivanshu Raj Goyal, Consultant Respiratory, Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Artemis Hospital, Gurugram said, “Booster dose should be treated as important and are meant to remind your immune system how to respond once exposed to viruses new strain. Once any vaccine is given its given immunity goes down to 70 to 30% within six to nine months. So getting a booster keeps your immunity up to fight against the onslaught of new viruses. These are safe and minor side effects like fever and body pain can be easily managed with a paracetamol tablet.”
Dr. Sumol Ratna,General Physician, MD Medicine, Asst. Professor, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences cautions for the next Covid wave which he says might be harder and it is important to have a booster dose. “Currently, no one is adhering to any COVID protocols, but if there is another wave, I believe it will be even harder. The least we could do is continue to perform these two things for another six to twelve months. People are wary of the third dose, but there is no danger in getting another shot to strengthen your antibodies since it has been fairly demonstrated by global data that the immunity gained from the first two doses does decline after nine months,” he emphasised.
Dr. Ankit Singhal, pulmonologist at Sri Balaji Action medical institute, New Delhi said, “Lot of scientific data says Booster Dose just helps to boost your immunity but you might get the COVID 19 infection post that, but it is definitely a fact that you will not land up in the hospital post that and will not have to face the severity of the disease.”
Dr Sanket Jain, Consultant Chest Physician – Pulmonologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai, detailing about the same, said, “Importance of taking a booster dose is to protect from the new variants, which are said to be more infective and cause immune escape. Taking Booster dose on time will prevent people from severe diseases and hospitalization. It is also important for those who are prone to infections, especially with co-morbid conditions, immunocompromised patients, patients on chemotherapy and immunosuppressant.
Precautions for preventing Covid 19 :-
Continue with COVID appropriate behavior
7-8 hours of good sleep
Eat a well-balanced diet
Avoid alcohol and smoking