A WHO chief scientist has said that they are currently examining the duration of COVID-19 vaccine protection.
Though vaccination campaigns are now widespread in many parts of the world, with the increased mutations of the COVID-19, questions are being raised about how effective the vaccines will be and how long an individual will be immune.
On June 24, 2021, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist, responded to a question and answer session on COVID-19 variants and vaccines. Swaminathan, when questioned on when a determination will be made regarding booster requirements, answered, "this question cannot be answered just now," and "as of now, we have no recommendation on the boosters."
Swaminathan said the waning of the immune response of an individual is linked to the booster. Further, she explained that there are no precise results on the duration of the effect of antibodies in the body and when a person shall be prone again to infection.
She even suggested that a person with a robust immune response is likely to keep the vaccine immunity longer. She added that it should be considered that different vaccines perform differently, and the length of protection is still being examined.
She gave an example that few countries have been reviewing the antibodies in "healthcare workers or even an entire population" and observed that a "majority of people seem to be protected for at least ten months" if there was an infection for the first time. She added that the older person or some with the underlying immune-compromised condition could notice wane in antibodies. If a booster is required in this group should be closely monitored. However, when and how frequently cannot be determined yet.
Previously, in an interview on June 18 with BloombergQuint, Swaminathan said, "We do not have the information that's necessary to make the recommendation on whether or not a booster will be needed." She mentioned that companies preparing for boosters are "premature." Information from countries adopting additional precautionary inoculations will subsequently enhance WHO's recommendations. Particularly for vulnerable people, whose immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may wane faster, she mentioned.
WHO has not yet decided on the booster. According to reports, more research is needed to establish the need for COVID-19 vaccination's booster doses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.