With the rising cases of the COVID-19 virus, again, the COVID-19 booster shot has become the topic of discussion among people. But what is a booster shot, and who needs one? If you have this or other questions related to the COVID-19 booster shot, this blog is for you.
Below we’ll discuss everything about the COVID-19 booster shot, from what it is to who is eligible for one. So, read till the end.
What is this Booster Shot?
A COVID booster shot is nothing but an additional dose of vaccination that is given after the effectiveness or protection offered by the original vaccination(s) starts to fade. It’s like the third dose of vaccination to improve and maintain your immunity for longer.
Are booster shots actually necessary?
According to the data from recent studies, the protection offered by vaccines decreases over time. And this decrease is usually noted in the people who got their vaccination shots some time ago.
Also, the research says that booster shots help increase the body’s immunity against the COVID-19 virus and are also effective against fighting the omicron virus. So, according to the available evidence, you can say that the booster shot is important for enhancing immunity against COVID-19.
Even though booster shots are important and necessary, not everyone is eligible for them. So let’s find who is eligible below.
Who is Eligible to Take the Booster Shot?
In India, senior citizens above the age of 60 are eligible for a 'precaution dose' or a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Young children of age 15-18 are eligible too. The only choice available for teens is Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
Apart from the above-stated group a Health Care Worker (HWC) or a Front Line Worker (FLW) is also allowed to take the booster dose.
"The other protocols will remain the same as before - like a person will know at the time of booking of vaccination slots which vaccine is available at the Covid vaccination center" says RS Sharma, the chief executive officer of the National Health Authority.
To get the booster dose, respective people may simply walk-in at the vaccination centers or register online on Cowin to book a slot for this booster vaccination dose.
How to Determine Whether or Not you Need a Booster Shot
If you’re eligible but want to find out whether you really need the booster shot or not, you can reach out to your doctor. One common way your doctor will help you decide is by checking your antibody levels using the titer test.
The titer test measures the antibodies, which further helps the doctor determine how strong your immune system is. If your antibody count is too low, the doctor will recommend a booster shot that’ll boost your immunity. However, experts do not recommend frequent titer measurements.
Can you take a Booster Shot Even After COVID-19 Infection? If Yes, When?
Yes, you can. And you should definitely go for a booster shot. It’s because infection after vaccination might offer you amazing immunity. And the booster shot will increase your immunity to another level. However, it’s not clear whether the immunity after vaccination and infection is strong enough to replace the need for the booster shot.
There may be more research required to solidify the need for a booster shot. However, according to experts, we will eventually have to go for it. So, consult your primary doctor, ask for advice and make an informed decision.