Which is the better booster? India must evaluate Covovax and Corbevax as third-doses as soon as possible

It is evident that boosters in the elderly and those otherwise at high risk will provide the greatest decrease in severe disease and death in all parts of the world, if doses and vaccination are not constrained, which is why ‘precautionary doses’ make sense here, even in the absence of evidence from India on waning vaccine effectiveness.

Two studies from Israel were published in December 2021 in The New England Journal of Medicine and showed that a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine reduced infections tenfold and Covid-19 deaths by 90%. The UK Health Security Agency has also released data showing that booster doses given after six months increase protection from hospitalisation from 55% to 88%, using a mix of mRNA vaccines and the viral-vectored AstraZeneca vaccine, with boosters of only mRNA. It therefore appears a no-brainer to introduce booster doses for everyone everywhere, but there are key issues that need further consideration in the context of India.

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