How long can the vaccine provide protection? This is a question most people ask after getting the complete shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Up to this day, researchers are still learning when the effect of the vaccine weakens. This may take time as we are still in the early stage of getting to know the capability of the vaccine considering that there are different age and health status to observe.
However, what they are starting to learn is that the SARS-CoV-2 is like the flu – it easily changes and mutate – making the vaccine protection stability unstable in fighting new variants that may arise hence, revaccination or booster shot is critical especially for those who are vulnerable or immunocompromised. This is why in the UAE, as well as in other countries, the booster shot has been advised.
When Do I Need a Booster Shot?
Booster shot may not be that necessary for other people. In the UAE, there is an antibody test that determines whether a person needs a booster shot, a complete revaccination, or none. This ensures that the person’s body do not go over or under the required dose.
Good news is… researches have learned that most of the COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective for at least 6 months after the second shot. Furthermore, CEO of Pfizer-BioNTech, Albert Bourla, said that a booster shot may be needed between 6-12 months of being fully vaccinated which means that a booster shot or revaccination is likely to be done annually.
To wrap it up, people can take the booster shot after taking the medical evaluation and after 6 months from the completion of the first vaccination course.
What Vaccines Have a Booster Shot?
In the UAE, residents can take the Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinopharm. While for Moderna vaccine, the booster shot is expected to be available in the last quarter of the year.
Can I Switch to a Different Vaccine for My Booster Shot?
Researchers believe that taking a different vaccine for your third shot will not cause harm. What they are sure of is that booster shot will strengthen the immunity against the Sars-CoV-2. In the UK, a person can still receive a booster if the vaccine used for his/her first course is not available. While for the UAE, a fully vaccinated individual can freely choose between Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinopharm.