Covid booster jab gives ‘five times more protection than second shot AND lasts longer’

THE Covid booster jab gives five times more protection than the second dose, a new study has revealed.

Experts also think the booster shot lasts longer than the original two-dose regimen.

It comes after researchers looked at vaccine responses before and after the boosters in 33 healthy middle-aged adults.

They had all got their second jabs on average around nine months previously.

Before getting the booster shots their antibody levels had plummeted almost ten-fold.

But by six to ten days after getting the top up, the antibody levels were up 25-fold, and five times higher than after two doses.

Yesterday the online booking service opened for people aged 40-49, to bag a slot six months after their second dose.

Teens aged 16-17 can also now book in for their second vaccine jab, to be even more protected against Covid.

Everyone able to get their extra doses have been urged to come forward, as it means they will be fully protected by Christmas Day.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Getting your Covid-19 booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and will help reduce the pressure on the NHS.

“While the government is continuing to monitor a wide range of data to ensure the country remains protected, we have very sadly seen a surge in cases in parts of Europe.

“The most important thing we can do to stop a similar rise in this country is get the jab – so please get your vaccines as soon as you can so we can keep the virus at bay.” 

New data last week from the first real-world study on the effectiveness of booster vaccines by the UK Health Security Agency showed how important the booster jab is.

The research found top-up jabs boost protection back up to over 90 per cent against symptomatic Covid in adults aged over 50.

It also showed two weeks after getting a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1 per cent in those with Oxford/AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94.0 per cent for Pfizer.

It comes after Europe's failure to give the AstraZeneca Covid jab to elderly people could be why the continent is seeing a new wave, a vaccine boss has said.

BOOST UP

Several countries are facing fresh lockdowns because infections are so high and hospitals are coming under strain due to the influx of admissions.

But the UK, while seeing high Covid case numbers, has not recorded drastic hospital admissions or deaths for months – although there are still hundreds of people becoming seriously unwell every day.

Vaccines have largely broken the link between infections and severe illness that so strongly existed before.

Pascal Soriot, the chief executive officer of AstraZeneca, has suggested this is because the UK used the company’s Covid jab, created by Oxford University, to protect the elderly.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “It's really interesting when you look at the UK – there was a big peak of infections, but not so many hospitalisations relative to Europe. 

“In the UK, this vaccine was used to vaccinate older people. Whereas in Europe, people initially thought the vaccine didn't work in elderly people.”

 

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