Saturday, January 28, 2023

Vaccines do protect from serious sickness and death: WHO

Still uncertain if booster vaccines will be needed, limited data on how long protection from jabs will last

Desk: It is possible to get infected with delta variant even after being fully vaccinated. However, the data and experience, of health officials from the regions where delta variant is spreading fast, indicate that the jabs are protecting most people from being hospitalised due to serious conditions or death.

The WHO official Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Monday, in a press briefing, confirmed that vaccines provide a clear protection from serious sickness and deaths.

Even in the US, the officials have gone on record saying that all recent covid hospitalisations or deaths are occurring among unvaccinated people. Breakthrough infections are rare and about 75% of those who die, or are hospitalised even after vaccination, are over the age of 65, the data reveal.

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“There are reports coming in that vaccinated populations have cases of infection, particularly with the delta variant,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said at a press briefing Monday. “The majority of these are mild or asymptomatic infections.”

WHO officials have underlined the fact that it is still not known whether booster vaccines will be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19 until additional data is collected, but the question is under consideration by researchers.

WHO officials say that clinical trials on these vaccines only began a year ago, and roll-out across populations even more recently. There is, therefore limited data available on how long the protection from current doses lasts and whether an additional booster dose would be beneficial and for whom.

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