According to public health experts, the immunity elicited by COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time, leading to the need for a booster dose, which appears to restore immunity to its initial level.
Recall that viruses are constantly changing, through mutations, and these mutations often give rise to a new variant. We spoke with Alvaro Javier Idrovo Velandia, professor of the Department of Public Health of the UIS and PhD. in Epidemiology, who urged the community to apply the booster dose.
LuisSalud: Why is the booster important?
Álvaro Idrovo: Booster is very important, especially in very specific populations. Older people are more prone to complications, it is more important for someone who is over 80, 70, 60 and so on. This does not mean that only they should get the reinforcement, this is a collective work. What is known is that older people or people with comorbidities have a higher risk of complication.
What can happen to this person is that if he/she has contacts with new variants, with new genetically modified viruses, it is possible that the infection could occur again and could be more severe if he/she does not have the complete scheme or the booster.
LuisSalud: What can you say to people who still do not believe in vaccines?
Álvaro Idrovo: I would say that we are in a moment of health crisis, where we must recognize that science has made great technological advances, as in the case of vaccines. These have allowed us to have an emergency response. However, we still do not have a vaccine that can protect us from all variants, they work but they are not perfect, hence the need to continue protecting ourselves in order to have appropriate conditions. At this moment COVID-19 continues to be a risk, not only in Colombia, but also in the world.
LuisSalud: Many people do not get the booster, because at that moment the biologic they want is not available. How does this work with vaccines?
Alvaro Idrovo: There are many studies and I would not know how to summarize which would be the best one; what is known, so far, is that when you have a complete vaccination schedule, your immune response capacity drops after 6 or 8 months, so it makes sense to have a booster of another vaccine, of another platform, so that the body recovers its memory.
There is something important, we should not only consider the vaccine and its booster, but those who have had the infection, those who have a response, have greater immunity, that is why people who have not acquired the disease should apply the booster with greater priority.
We have to try to combine vaccines, the recommendation is that, if you have Pfizer or Moderna, use another platform such as Sinovac or AstraZeneca, depending on availability. This teaches the body another way of looking at the virus and the body recognizes it in a different way. Cross-platforming seems to generate greater immunity. UISalud Newsletter No 42 – Covid 19 – February 14th.pdf [+]