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At-risk people urged to get 4th jab as vaccine protection wanes

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A leading Thai virologist has urged people in at-risk groups to get a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine now if they received their third dose more than four months ago.

Dr Yong Poovorawan explained in a Facebook post that immunity from the first three doses drops significantly after a few months, leaving recipients vulnerable to infection again.

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Thailand has dropped below 5,000 per day but experts warn this downward trend could reverse as the effects of vaccination wear off.

The Public Health Ministry last week revealed results of its study on the effects of vaccination with two, three or four doses.

It found that two vaccine doses had the least efficacy against Omicron infection, but are 75 per cent effective in preventing severe symptoms which require ventilators.

Three jabs are 15 per cent effective against Omicron infection, but 93 per cent effective in preventing symptoms that require ventilators.

Four jabs are 76 per cent effective in preventing Omicron infection, but 99 per cent effective in preventing symptoms that require ventilators.

Yong confirmed that a fourth dose will boost immunity and protect people in at-risk groups against serious illness if they do get infected. At-risk groups include seniors aged over 60, front-line medical staff, and people with underlying conditions.

Thailand has enough vaccine doses available to protect this group of people, he added, urging them to get a fourth dose if it had been at least four months since their last vaccination.

Meanwhile, he advised healthy young people who have received three doses to wait for an update on the situation before getting a fourth shot.

Published : May 30, 2022

By : THE NATION