Should  Thailand  Plan For Booster Shots Now?

Should  Thailand  Plan For Booster Shots Now?

Should  Thailand  Plan For Booster Shots Now?

The one lesson that Covid -19 should have taught policy makers by now is that when it   comes to this virus, one can never be prepared enough.

This is true for most countries but Thailand especially should take heed, because it’s a  country heavily dependent on tourism and have seen, first hand, how Covid-19 virus has   been like a wrecking ball on the country’s tourism and hospitality segments.

As cases are going down, policy makers must not take it for granted that this is the end of   it and let their guard down again.  

Future waves should be met with the country’s preparedness on vaccines and medicines.

To protect against future waves, we have to first realize that antibodies  drop after  full vaccination.

Take Israel’s case.

Israel’s coronavirus cases have soared in recent weeks and this is at a time when about  three in five  Israelies are fully vaccinated . The proportion of fully vaccinated population in Israel is higher than in many countries.

The study from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center observed a clear, significant decrease in   both IgG and neutralizing antibodies in the months after full vaccination of 2 doses.

Researchers reported a significant drop over the first three months, followed by a more moderate decline over the next three months.

Israel launched a booster shot campaign to bolster protection half a year after their  population were vaccinated with 2 doses.
Health Officials believed that Israel’s fourth wave was brought about by the drop in   immunity and allowed the spread of the Delta variant.

As a consequence of Israel’s ambitious booster shot campaign, the fourth wave is   waning.

Israel on Sunday piled pressure on its vaccinated citizens to get a booster shot by making
only those who received their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine eligible for a “green pass” allowing entry to restaurants, gyms and many other venues.

It’s clear from Israel’s case that antibodies after vaccination drop, before the country can   reach herd immunity , and vaccinated people stand unprotected again.

A study led by researchers of the University College London, showed that the total antibody levels produced by both Pfizer and AstraZeneca appear to start declining from as early as six weeks after two vaccine doses and can reduce by more than 50 per cent over 10 weeks, stressing the need for booster doses.

Thailand is set for a full re-opening of our country early next year and if most people  are vaccinated with their 2nd dose by this year end, we may find their antibodies would have dropped by mid next year. It may occur at a time when Thailand is welcoming substantial amounts of international tourists and any disruptions to the country’s   tourism comeback should be avoided.

It would be prudent of policy makers to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers now and  book enough booster shots for our citizens because as we have understood, delivery of vaccines take time.

The country must avoid another “uncontrolled outbreak” and “unprotected citizens” situation at all cost.

Written By - Patra Manas.