Covid-19 boosters offer significant protection

A BOOSTER dose with the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine offers over 93 per cent protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 and over who have had their primary jabs, according to a study published the UK Health Security Agency.

The study found that two weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1 per cent in those with AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94 per cent for Pfizer-BioNTech.

Effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 has been found to wear off over time, particularly in older adults and those with underlying medical conditions. This prompted the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) to recommend a booster vaccine programme to eligible groups, including adults aged 50 years, which was extended to adults over 40 on 15 November 2021.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: “Our findings demonstrate the protection provided by the booster dose against symptomatic infection in those at highest risk from developing severe Covid-19. We know that in older age groups, protection from the first two vaccines is beginning to wear off, leaving millions that need extra protection as we head into winter.”

Dr Ramsay stressed that it was critical for eligible individuals to come forward for booster injections when alerted in order to drive down hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.

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