Booster jab - GulfToday

Booster jab


The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has once again put the entire world on notice.

As Omicron invades more countries, it is time for nations to authorise the third booster jab for health workers and senior citizens. The World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) has underscored that, “Evidence on waning vaccine effectiveness, in particular a decline in protection against severe disease in high-risk populations, calls for the development of vaccination strategies optimised for prevention of severe disease, including the targeted use of booster vaccination.”

Even a country like Nigeria, with a population of 206 million people, though it has vaccinated only two per cent of its population with both jabs and four per cent with at least one jab, has authorised the third jab for those citizens who wish to take it. The President of the country, Muhammadu Buhari, has set the ball rolling by taking the third jab himself. Mortality data from the USA National Center for Health Statistics reveals that life expectancy dropped by 1.8 years in 2020, compared to 2019. Around 528,000 more Americans died in 2020 than in 2019. This is the highest increase in single-year mortality, since 1933. COVID has contributed to about ten per cent of these deaths and is the third-most common cause of deaths. The world must not return to the trauma of the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. The pandemic resulted in millions of deaths, loss of jobs, livelihoods, homelessness, hunger and even psychiatric illnesses like depression. So, every step should be taken to vaccinate the entire world and encourage vulnerable groups to take the booster jab.

No country can afford to take its eyes off the Covid-19 crisis. India is slated to hold state elections in 2022. During elections, there are massive public meetings, travel and interactions, very often without masks and social distancing. Hence it is important to authorise the third jab in India before the elections.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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