No need for third dose of vaccine, says latest study

PARIS: Vaccines are effective enough at preventing severe Covid-19 that there is no current need for the general population to be given third doses, said a report in The Lancet published yesterday.

World Health Organisation (WHO) called for a moratorium on third jabs amid supply concerns to poorer nations.

But a report by scientists, including from the WHO, who reviewed observational studies and clinical trials, found that vaccines remain highly effective against severe symptoms, across all the main virus variants including Delta, although they had lower success in preventing asymptomatic disease.

The study concluded that current variants had not developed sufficiently to escape the immune response provided by vaccines currently in use.

"Taken as a whole, the currently available studies do not provide credible evidence of substantially declining protection against severe disease, which is the primary goal of vaccination," said lead author Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo of the WHO. She said vaccine doses should be prioritised to people around the world still waiting for a jab.

"If vaccines are deployed where they would do the most good, they could hasten the end of the pandemic by inhibiting further evolution of variants," she added. - AFP