The Centre of Diseases Control and Prevention recommends a third dose of the two-shot vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) for people with certain health conditions to help further protect them from getting severely ill or dying due to Covid-19.
However, the Lancet laboratory is of the contrary idea noting, though vaccines are very effective at preventing severe Covid-19 there is no current need for the general population to be given third doses.
Some countries have started offerings extra doses over fears about the much more contagious Delta Variant, causing the World Health Organisation to call for a moratorium on third jabs amid concerns about vaccines supply to poor nations, where millions are yet to receive their first jab.
Though a report by scientists, including from the WHO, highlighted that even with the threat of Delta, “booster doses for the general population are not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic.”
The authors who reviewed observational studies and clinical trials found that vaccines remain highly effective against severe symptoms of Covid-19, across all main virus variants including Delta, although they had lower success in preventing asymptomatic disease.
“Taken as a whole the currently available studies do not provide credible evidence of substantially declining protection against severe disease, which is the primary goal of vaccination,” said lead author Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo of the WHO.
Adding that vaccine doses should be prioritized to people around the world still waiting for a jab.
“If vaccines are deployed where they would do the most good, they could hasten the end of the pandemic by inhibiting further evolution of the variants,” she added.
Countries like France have started distributing third jabs for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, while Israel has gone further, offering children 12 and older a third dose five months after full vaccination.
The Lancet study concluded that the current variants had not developed sufficiently to escape the immune response provided by the vaccines currently in use.