COVID-19: Healthy young people might not need annual booster jabs, experts suggest

With the booster shot now being offered to people between 40 and 49 years of age, experts are reconsidering the need for a third dose for the young and healthy.

Although ministers have been pushing to get as many adults in on the booster shot program, a Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) insider has said that this might not extend to everyone.

No need to boost the young and healthy?

The booster vaccine should only be offered to those who are immunocompromised and within six-month intervals between their second dose. For those who are in good health and of younger age, an annual booster vaccine might be unnecessary, and their dose could go to those more in need—perhaps even in countries with lesser COVID vaccine access.

With the advancement of newer medication against the virus, such as the two antiviral pills that have recently been found to be super effective in preventing hospitalisation, vaccines don't seem as necessary.

Newer technology to reinforce efficacy

In addition, Professor Eleanor Riley, an immunologist at the University of Edinburgh, believes that we might very well get to a point where vaccine technology becomes so efficient that booster shots would not be needed as regularly for a large portion of the population. She explained that:

I think if we get to a point where we’re combining an intramuscular injection with a shot of something up your nose to give you that local response we may end up in a much better place. And if that Delta remains the prevalent virus and if those vaccines are tweaked to target it specifically, that will put us in an even stronger position.

And added:

Despite everything that we do, they are still going to be less well protected than the rest of us. And I suspect annual boosters for them are probably going to be recommended in the same way that we do flu vaccinations.
COVID: Annual booster shot could be introduced in the UK COVID: Annual booster shot could be introduced in the UK