Covid-19 vaccine: Protection wanes after three months study suggests – booster

Coronavirus and cold symptoms outlined by Dr Amir

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The findings, published in The Lancet, suggest that booster programmes are necessary to help maintain protection from severe disease in those vaccinated with AstraZeneca. It is hoped that governments will be able to design booster programmes that can ensure maximum protection is maintained, as studies are published.

Researchers from Scotland and Brazil looked at data from two million people in Scotland and 42 million people in Brazil who had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In Scotland, when compared with two weeks after receiving a second dose, there was around a fivefold increase in the chance of being hospitalised or dying from COVID-19 nearly five months after being double vaccinated.

Researchers say that the decline in effectiveness begins to appear at around three months. After this point the risk of hospitalisation and death is double that of two weeks after the second dose.

The risk increases threefold just short of four months after the second vaccine dose.

The study also looked at vaccine effectiveness at similar fortnightly intervals by comparing outcomes of people who have been jabbed with those who are unvaccinated.

The study is part of the EAVE II project, which uses anonymised linked patient data in Scotland to track the pandemic and the vaccine roll out in real time.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute and EAVE II study lead, said: “Vaccines have been a key tool in fighting the pandemic, but waning in their effectiveness has been a concern for a while.

“By identifying when waning first starts to occur in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, it should be possible for governments to design booster programmes that can ensure maximum protection is maintained.”

“If eligible for a booster and you have not had yet had one, I would highly recommend that you book one soon” the professor added.

Professor Vittal Katikireddi at the University of Glasgow also spoke of the importance of getting a booster dose: “Our analyses of national datasets from both Scotland and Brazil suggest that there is considerable waning of effectiveness for the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with protection against severe COVID-19 falling over time.”

The professor added: “Our work highlights the importance of getting boosters, even if you’ve had two doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, as soon as you are able to.”

Indeed, the NHS explains that a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be offered a booster dose at least three months after you had your second dose.

If you have a weakened immune system and have had a third dose of the vaccine, you can get a booster dose from three months after your third dose.

The health body states: “Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine.

“This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your 1st and 2nd doses.”

Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

The vast majority of the UK adult population has received a COVID-19 vaccine since the programme was launched.

There are four common side effects, which are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK.

They include having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection. This tends to be worse around one to two days after the vaccine. Some people will also feel tired, have a headache, or experience general aches, or mild flu like symptoms.

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