Covid booster
FILE PHOTO: People queue to receive COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, at a walk-in vaccination centre at Saint Thomas' Hospital in London, Britain, December 15, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

A fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine (covid booster) is not needed at present, as latest data shows first booster provides high levels of protection against Omicron variant among older adults, says the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

After analysing latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), JCVI said: “There is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, or fourth jab, to the most vulnerable”.

Data from UKSHA revealed that single booster dose provides around 90 per cent protection against hospitalisation to those aged 65 and over, even after three months of jab.

However, protection against mild symptomatic infection is short-lived and drops to around 30 per cent by about three months.

The study, which looked at booster doses in those aged over 65, showed that with two vaccine doses, protection against the infection drops to around 70 per cent after three months and to 50 per cent after six months.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s chair of Covid-19 immunisation, said: “The current data shows the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups.

“For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed.”

Instead of rolling out a second booster dose, JCVI has advised to prioritise administering first booster dose to all age groups and encouraged unvaccinated individuals to take their first two doses.

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