Omani Doctors stress importance to get Covid-19 Booster shots urgently

Image Credit: twitter @OmaniMOH
Image Credit: twitter @OmaniMOH

Muscat:In a statements to Oman News Agency, a number of Omani doctors underscored the significance of administering a third booster dose of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccinations to target segments of society-people aged 18 and above, at a time the virus’s mutant variant, Omicron, is rapidly spreading in different parts of the World in general, relatively in the Sultanate of Oman.

The physicians stressed the need to apply all precautionary measures, seriously and at all times.

Dr. Faryal Al Lawati, Senior Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Royal Hospital, said, “There is an urgent need for a third booster dose, now that preliminary studies point to the probability that the efficiency of the first two doses might have dwindled to as low as 30%.

Scientific studies proved that antibodies begin to decrease between the 5th or 6th month of Pfizer vaccination, and between the 4th and 5th month of AstraZeneca vaccination. It was initially hoped that T-cells would generate/trigger long lasting immunological memory, even in the event of B-cell count deficiency, said Dr. Faryal.

Dr. Faryal pointed out that, due to fresh infections among two-dose recipients in the aftermath of waves of new virus variants (among them Omicron), it became clear now that time is ripe for a third dose to avoid a similar Covid-19 surge as in Europe.

Dr. Zaid bin Al Khattab Al Hinai,Assistant Professor at the college of medicine and an Infectious Diseases Consultant at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, said that the third dose augments the quantity and efficiency of antibodies capable of neutralizing Omicron, as was proven in lab tests. Field studies in more than one country showed that the booster dose offers protection against symptoms from 30% to 75%, Dr.Zaid added.

Recently, many countries saw major rise in Covid-19 infection, hospitalization and death cases that compelled them to go for lockdown, said Dr. Zaid, who cautioned against a probable similar scenario in the Sultanate of Oman if not enough measures are undertaken among them the booster dose.

Meanwhile, Dr.Zakaria Yahya Al Balushi, Senior Consultant, Inflammations and infections, the Royal Hospital, said that Omicron, which, originated in South Africa, devoted the word at a greater and faster pace than Delta, and that Oman is no far cry.

Dr. Zakaria affirmed that the third dose provides a great proportion of protection against Omicron, notably for people who are at risk because of low immunity.

Echoing a similar view, Dr. Ridha Issa Al Lawati, Internal Medicine Consultant at the Royal Hospital, said that a study in Canada showed that a person infected with Omicron transmitted the virus to four other persons in one instance, while a person infected with Delta could transfer only one person at a time.

Quoting a study conducted I Britain, Dr.Ridha also cautioned against the subsiding efficiency of earlier vaccinations that dropped as low as 20% among AstraZeneca recipients and 40% among Pfizer recipients. “All evidence point to the conclusion that the booster dose assumes maximum significance in combating the new mutant that has spread fast, far and wide in the world,” said Dr. Ridha.

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