The controversy of the third dose continues: who are the exceptions to it, and what about its negatives?

The Omicron mutant continues to expand and spread in more than 23 countries, and the rope is on the tractor. At a time when scientists are closely observing the characteristics of this mutant, to answer all the concerns and fears associated with it, especially in the issue of the severity and severity of the disease, there has been much talk about the third dose allocated

To enhance protection and counteract the mutant with additional immunity.

Studies and data have shown that the protection gained from vaccines is not equal for everyone, in addition to that it declines over time, which prompted doctors and scientists to stress the importance of the booster dose not to lose community protection against the virus. However, this recommendation is not generalized to all groups, because some bodies are able to form antibodies at high levels, unlike people who suffer from cancerous diseases, immune deficiencies, or who are elderly.

But the question that is at the forefront today is whether the two doses are not enough? Is the third dose mandatory for all groups?

A study conducted by the “Pfizer” and “Biontech” laboratories, and the results of which were published more than a week ago, revealed that a third dose of their vaccine against Covid-19 is 95.6% effective in combating symptomatic disease.

Against these results, many countries suffer from the possibility of securing sufficient supplies to vaccinate their populations, especially the poor ones, whose citizens did not receive the first dose, so what if we are talking about a third booster dose? This disparity in vaccination, and the monopoly of some countries for vaccines, raised an ethical question about the validity of resorting to a booster dose when many countries

Still deprived of the first dose of vaccines.

But is it recommended for all classes? And what if a person does not need it?

Dr. Suha King Bishara, Head of the Department of Bacterial Diseases at the American University of Beirut Hospital, explains that “according to the recommendations and the extracted data, the priority of the third dose can be divided into these categories:

*People who suffer from immune diseases and cancer patients (drugs that reduce immunity or chemotherapy).

* People who have undergone organ transplantation such as kidney or bone marrow transplant.

In addition to the elderly who are over 65 years old, because with age the body is unable to form complete and sufficient immunity compared to the younger ones.

It should be noted that in countries where vaccines are available, the third dose can be received in people over 50. In countries where vaccines are not sufficiently available, and many groups have not received the first or second dose, it is recommended to receive the third dose for people over 65.

Hence the category of people most vulnerable to the virus, such as:

Workers in the health sector, such as doctors, nurses and laboratory workers. The third category is considered to be the third dose.

Regarding the timing of receiving this booster dose, King Bishara stresses that “it is recommended to receive it 6 months after the second dose, according to the recommendations of the CDC, with the exception of people who have undergone bone marrow transplantation, cancer, or organ transplants such as kidneys and others, who can receive 4 doses of the vaccine without having to wait.” 6 months.

As for the elderly who are over 65, they must receive the dose 6 months after the second dose, not because it may harm if he receives it before this time, but rather because he does not need it before that, because he has sufficient immunity capable of protecting him from the virus.

Cons of receiving a third dose we don’t need

The Head of the Department of Bacterial Diseases at the American University Hospital confirms that “with each vaccine dose, there can be negative effects, and of course we have heard of the side effects of some vaccines, such as myocarditis, arthritis and the nervous system. Most importantly, these side effects are not related to the level of antibodies in a person’s body. And it doesn’t happen because I have a high or low level of immunity.

A vaccine is like medicine if a person does not need to take a booster dose, so it is better not to receive it because there is nothing in medicine that does not carry the possibility of side effects even if it is a small percentage.

Therefore, the advice today is not to rush to receive a third dose, if the person does not need it medically, and it is limited to the aforementioned categories (cancer patients – immunodeficiency – adults over 65 years). If the person decides to receive it, they must wait 6 months after the second dose.

As for people who were infected with the virus, and then vaccinated with two doses, they do not need a booster dose even if they are health sector workers, because the natural acquired immunity, in addition to the secured immunity from the vaccine, is enough to provide them with sufficient immunity.

Is it possible to make a third dose of a different vaccine than the two doses?

In King Bishara’s opinion, studies have shown that the combination of vaccines may strengthen immunity more than taking a booster dose of the same vaccine. For example: A person who has received two doses of AstraZeneca may receive the third dose of Pfizer, or vice versa. However, it is not recommended to combine vaccines in children, as they are reserved for adults only.

The third dose is also the same as the two doses in quantity, and the dose varies according to each vaccine.

Corona vaccination and other vaccines

Research has shown that the Covid vaccine does not conflict with the flu vaccine, so there is no fear of receiving both. However, it is recommended to wait two weeks after being vaccinated with the corona vaccine before performing any other vaccine so that the vaccine does not lose its effectiveness, and so that the body can acquire the necessary immunity from each vaccine.


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