LISTEN | It's never too late to get another Covid-19 jab
NICD's Dr Melinda Suchard says there is no maximum time period to get another jab, but as time passes your antibody levels may decline
It's never too late to get another Covid-19 jab.
“There is no maximum time — in fact, the longer the interval is, usually the better,” says Dr Melinda Suchard, head of the Centre for Vaccines & Immunology at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
But, she said, there is a possibility that antibodies which aid your immunity to the virus may decline if you delay too long.
“With Pfizer, studies in adults show that a lot of the protection comes from the second shot; after one shot you are not fully protected. The level of antibodies produced by the vaccine is boosted much higher after the second dose.”
SA is vaccinating with the Johnson & Johnson jab, a one-doser, and the Pfizer two-dose vaccine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has 91.3% vaccine efficacy after two doses. Suchard said delaying having the second Pfizer jab would affect your resistance to Covid-19. Having the second jab will significantly lower the risk of catching the virus.
Listen to Dr Suchard:
Just more than 300 new coronavirus cases were identified in SA on Wednesday evening. The health department reported 48 deaths in the past 24-hour period, bringing the total number to 89,435.
More than 23.5-million vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far.
The national department of health's Foster Mohale said: “Almost 16-million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose, including 218,000 children between 12 and 17 years old. Out of 16-million people, just more than 13-million are fully vaccinated. This means about 3-million are yet to receive their second jab.
“However, this number consists of those who are within their waiting period of 42 days/six weeks before they could receive the second jab and those who are due for the end jab but did not return to vaccination site.”
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