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Home / News / World /  Abu Dhabi makes Pfizer, Sinopharm Covid booster shots available

Abu Dhabi government Tuesday announced that it has made booster shots available for those who were vaccinated against Covid-19 at least six months ago.

Pfizer Inc. and Sinopharm Group Co. booster shots are available in over 100 centers in the emirate for citizens and residents, the city’s media office tweeted.

The issue of booster shots has become more pressing, amid questions about “breakthrough" infections among the fully vaccinated, particularly with the fast-spreading delta variant. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said the U.S. will be “absolutely prepared" to distribute a third shot if needed.

Meanwhile, Israel has already vaccinated one million people with booster shots. Health providers started offering a third dose to patients with weakened immune systems in July and the country approved the use of a booster for those over the age of 50 last week.

The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, has one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world, with 73% of its population of about 10 million already fully inoculated. The seven-day average of daily cases has fallen to about 1200 from 2200 in late June.

However, back in India, one of the top professors said that no data shows theneed for booster vaccines presently in the country.

Speaking about when a booster dose should be administered, Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor at Christian Medical College Vellore on Tuesday, said some countries that have used inactivated, vectored vaccines or mRNA vaccines have begun to offer a booster dose to selected populations, like the elderly, according to news agency ANI.

Dr Kang added, "In India (and elsewhere), we do not have any data showing that anyone who has received two doses of vaccine needs booster vaccines at this time."

Talking about Moderna and AstraZeneca she said, "Yes, the Moderna and AZ correlates of protection analysis shows that higher antibodies correlate with better protection, but there is no cut-off level of antibodies which reliably predict protection at the individual levels. Antibodies are good, but not all of the immune response."

According to Dr Kang, whether people will have more antibodies or be better protected with the booster dose is still not known.

"It sounds obvious that more antibodies (abs) are better but we really don't know whether people who push up abs with additional doses will be better protected than with the level they initially made. Or that when abs wane, we need to boost to maintain above some level," she said.

Dr Kang also said that the third dose isn't currently recommended in many countries but should be considered, and added," Different vaccines need to be evaluated in sets of patients to see which vx (or combinations) offer the most benefit to these groups of vulnerable people. Again, not boosters at this time."

According to the latest updates, Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE have submitted the initial data from an early-stage trial toward seeking authorization of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health) on booster dose had said, "We are watching the science for the need for such booster dose. World Health Organization has called for a moratorium. Booster dose and whether there is a need for it and who will need it is a very relevant issue. Let's say it's a work in progress in fact a work in progress."

With inputs from ANI

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