It has been announced that Covid-19 vaccine booster shots have been granted approval for UAE residents. All fully vaccinated residents are eligible to get the booster shot six months after they have received their second dose.
The official spokesperson of UAE Health Sector, Dr. Farida Al Hosani said that priority to receive the additional shot has been given to senior citizens and people with chronic diseases.
This initiative forms part of the ‘proactive’ strategy by the UAE to provide maximum protection for the society. Several global studies have shown that Covid-19 vaccines can offer protection for at least six months.
The booster shots are usually given to those with less immunity against diseases and to people with chronic illness. Earlier, there was an announcement that a limited number of people in the UAE received a booster shot to kick in an immunes response against the virus, and this helped boost antibodies that protects against new Covid strains.
As explained by Dr. Ramesh, Internal Medicine, Aster Hospital, Qusais, the antibody response to the booster dose is characterized by a shorter lag period as the body has been previously exposed (to the vaccine). Moreover, the response will be prompt, powerful and will produce significant levels of antibodies that may last longer period of time.
According to the doctors, the accelerated response is due to the “immunological memory”. This is the reason that inactivated vaccines such as the Sinopharm are given as booster doses, he pointed out.
It is necessary to prioritize the vulnerable section of the population including senior citizens and those with chronic diseases, as this would help reduce hospitalizations.
“These categories are at risk of developing Covid-related complications like severe pneumonia, requiring oxygen and ventilator support. The booster shots would reduce the number of people getting sick and reduce the rate of hospitalization and ICU admission,” Dr. Ramesh said.
Overall, 73.88 percent of the eligible groups (residents aged above 16 years) in the UAE have received the Covid-19 vaccines. Further, 80 percent of the elderly population have been vaccinated.
“This is the priority group for the UAE as they are more vulnerable to the disease and its complications,” the official said.