Fourth-dose COVID-19 jab demonstrates good boost

pharmafile | May 10, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

A UK trial has revealed that fourth-dose COVID-19 booster vaccines increase protection against the disease, particularly those aged over 70.

Back in April, the UK rolled out fourth doses of the vaccine to over-75s and the most vulnerable, including residents in care homes for older adults, and those aged 12 and over with weakened immune systems.

A wider group of people may be offered the booster in the autumn, but any decision will be based on advice from the UK’s vaccine committee. All children aged five to 11 are also being offered two doses of a reduced-strength vaccination. Children whose parents decide to take up the offer will be given two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, at least 12 weeks apart.

Those eligible can now book an appointment online three months (91 days) after your previous dose. The NHS recommends having the spring dose around six months after your previous dose, to maximise protection.

Those who have a severe illness or high fever should not get the booster, but patient information from Pfizer and Moderna says you do not need to delay for a mild fever or cold.

First and second doses are either AstraZeneca (for under-40s), Pfizer, or Moderna. Boosters are a single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of which vaccine you received before. However, if you cannot have Pfizer or Moderna for medical reasons, you can have a booster dose of AstraZeneca.

The most common side effects of a booster vaccine include a sore arm, headache, chills, fatigue, and nausea – but they are part of the body’s natural immune response to vaccines, and tend to resolve within a day or two.

Lina Adams

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